Hidden Marketing Assets: Out-of-Office Email

When I teach workshops on Sponsorship Marketing, I harp on the power of the “hidden asset.” I’m referring to those gem-like branding opportunities that can make an ordinary list of rights and benefits pop. That’s why the Out-of-Office email campaign from Saatchi & Saatchi caught my attention.

When their art director went on paternity leave, the folks at Saatchi & Saatchi decided to get creative with the out-of-office message and sell it to a production company.

It worked!

After all, what better way for a company to reach their target audience than by appearing directly in their inbox without even trying?

In fact, the experiment was so successful, an entire Out-of-Office Email Service is in beta.

It got me thinking….what if there is room to communicate differently with our email messages? Sometimes, I prepare my standard out-of-office email and yearn to bust loose with something truly radical:

“In her latest crime novel, Patricia goes back to rural Ireland where a younger, breathless version of herself goes missing. Five days later she turns up older and wiser, but no less breathless.”

Amidst the deafening roar of social media, email has become somewhat intimate. Does getting creative with it constitute “surprise and delight” or is it brand suicide?