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Q: We have recently produced a new business/awareness mailing piece which incorporates a cd video presentation.
Is it possible for you to evaluate this and advise how it can be improved to increase response rates and business capture?

Managing Director
Janitorial Supplies Company

A: This is a marketing video mailshot, primarily designed to win sales leads

I’ll describe the package for readers, as it has an impressive start.

The mailshot comprises 4 elements:

> A slim black and lilac card box that holds the cd package

> A innovative gloss-printed card case, that opens by folding out to 4 squares, revealing the CD

> An on-body printed CD that contains a 78mb video file, which has to be double clicked in order to play

> A 3 minute marketing video that tells customers about the company

Now let’s take a look at these in detail and see how they work.

The Box

The box with its black and lilac contemporary styling and corporate style looks intriguing. If I was in the market for janitorial supplies I could be tempted to open it. So full marks here for the “surprise” factor

The Card Case

The box contains a similarly styled folded card case that opens out, again in an intriguing way, to reveal the cd.

The text printed on the box tells me a little about the values of the company – Innovation, Dedication, Excellence, plus some small print testimonials.

It’s packaged beautifully, and this high standard of production keeps me interested enough to continue.

The CD

Again printed to match the card and box in corporate black and lilac, it’s enough for me to pop the cd in my cd drive and find out what’s inside.

The CD doesn’t autoload so I have to use explorer to play the video, although this is fairly easy. But I prefer CD to DVD as CD plays on every PC

The Video

Right from the start I can see that this is a video about a company. It starts by telling me about their virtues, and continues in this vein for 3 minutes.

At the end of it I’m left with a feeling that this company are probably very good at what they do and that their staff like working there.

All in all a cleanly cut marketing video, highlighted here and there with adequate caption text to reinforce the messages


I have a big problem with the message in this package. Although the packaging is intriguing and the video competent, I’m unsure why I should be interested, or what I’m supposed to do about it if I was.

For example, the video script focuses on profiling the company.

It doesn’t focus on what the company delivers for me – a potential customer.

This is very 90s marketing – lots of corporate high pomp and circumstance, the importance of “our values” and the excellence of our products. It automatically assumes that this is what I’m looking for – a happy company, a great employer, with excellent products and processes.

But where are the three USPs?

People only remember three things from a video. So where are they?

What are the essential three things your company delivers that I need? My needs as a customer aren’t adequately recognised. It’s assumed the portfolio description will automatically meet my needs. Maybe it will. But I’m not 100% convinced. Maybe?

What’s the proposition? What action am I supposed to take? It’s not clear. Do you want me to pick up the phone and call you – right now? Or is a rep going to cold call me? Is there a deal or offer to tempt me to your website?

Here’s a broad brush outline of an alternative approach:

> We deliver a comprehensive product range – all from a single source

> We deliver proven high quality products you’ll be pleased to reorder once you’ve tried them

> We deliver a custom service tailored to your exact requirements of your account, whether large or small

This is supported by:

> Online ordering for convenience and speed

> Dedicated account managers to ensure smooth running

> Highly trained staff to ensure you get what you want, when you want it, where you want it

> World class warehousing facilities to ensure speedy throughput of your order – anywhere in the UK

You get the gist?

The focus is on delivery of what the customer wants, not a congratulatory video that describes how good you are.


1 – The video need a fresh script, something tighter that is more Noughties than Nineties, something that focuses on what you deliver, with a clear proposition and call to action

2 – The captions in the video look weak. They could look slicker and more dynamic, more noughties than nineties. Great graphics and caption tools are available in most video production studios and marketing agencies now. You just need to learn how to use them.

3 – The video should autoload on insertion of the cd in the PC

These are basic suggestions.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you could repackage it all as an interactive multimedia CD Rom presentation, that offers users choice, directs them to dedicated pages on your website, present live customer testimonials on video, create stronger multimedia-to-web links for a more integrated package, incentives to respond … but that’s another story

A marketing video mailshot is a good idea, and I’m sure it’ll get noticed and help win leads and sales, and reinforce awareness of your brand.

But with a bit more effort it could be even better. I think that your overall ideas and concept are very good, and the design feel is also very good.

But the “marketing content” lets you down. It doesn’t quite hit-the-spot for as many buyers as it should.

Sample of our marketing videos can be found here

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