Google Partners are agency people, web consultants and digital professionals who help advertisers make the most of Google AdWords.
Members of the programme get exclusive access to a range of benefits including training events, industry insights and promotional offers. Many Partners had signed up but had not completed all the steps to make the most of their membership.
What was required was a mailer to get them to complete their profiles and engage with the Google+ community.
The target audience is time poor. That meant the idea had to be something that provided a welcome break to the day rather than more work.
Mailing them a remote-controlled helicopter certainly got their attention at once because it was fun. But it also had purpose. Because it was hard to fly, the message was: the more you practice the better you get.
That was a clear analogy with the Google Partners programme. The more people put in, the more they would get out.
When the box was opened, the ‘Start Flying’ message was paid off by the helicopter. The letter introduced the programme while the brochure, a ‘Take Flight’ manual, included the pre-flight checklist – everything new Partners needed to get going.
Stickers were enclosed so they could customise their choppers.
The piece was mailed to 1,000 new Google Partners in Australia and New Zealand. What happened was a 26% increase in completed company profiles, 42% increase in completed individual profiles and an 18% increase in companies in the programme because Partners sharing their helicopter stories in social media acted as a recruitment tool.
It was also a demonstration of how mail can create brand desire. The Google Partners in Australia got their choppers first and were so swift in sharing their flying skills on Google+ that New Zealanders became jealous.
This was a mailing people didn’t just look forward to receiving, they wanted to know why they had not received it already.
The insight here is simple and human. People enjoy play. And people in advertising enjoy play more than most. Gamification is not about creating leaderboards and turning your website into a single-shooter experience. It’s about understanding that fun can be addictive. The clever thing about flying this chopper (and we were sent one by M&C Saatchi, thank you Hamish!) is how hard it is to do at first. So you stick at it until you can make the bloody thing do what it’s meant to do by which time the metaphor has well and truly lodged itself inside your brain.
The other thing about this is each helicopter cost about £27.50 (35€, $47USD) but in terms of cost-per-response, that will end up looking pretty cheap.
Client: Google Australia & New Zealand
Product: Google Partner Program
Title: Start Flying with Google Partners
Media: Direct Mail
Group Creative Director: Hamish Stewart
Head of Art: Nicola Phillips
Associate Creative Director & Copywriter: Paula Keamy
Creative Director – Design: Alex McGeechan, Jo Dickison Designer:
Senior Account Director: Bruce Pywell
Account Manager: Kristina Georgiadis
Print Producer: David Collier
Head of Small & Medium Business Marketing: Richard Flanagan
Small Business Marketing Manager: Duncan McGrath
Google Partners Coordinator: Rommibelle Castaneda