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“Hidden Vodka Bottle” Reveals Print’s Innovation

Pride In Print media release (April 2009)

“Hidden Vodka Bottle” Reveals Print’s Innovation

A unique method of inviting customers to celebratory drinks has been devised by a Wellington brand agency -- hiding a miniature vodka bottle in a book.

Totem Communications created an intriguing two-tiered “detective story” invite, which commenced when the recipient received an embossed, foiled and bound book containing a short detective story. Also inside the book was Website information, a special code and a miniature bottle of 42 Below concealed in a die-cut.

Each invitee was personally written into the story as a detective tracking a mysterious event being held somewhere in downtown Wellington by the notorious “Totem Gang”.

The second part of the invite was activated by the invitee logging onto the Website and entering their secret code. One of two animated newspapers then spun onscreen with their name written into the headline and opening paragraph, as relevant to their specific RSVP.

The combination of traditional printing techniques and media communication skills has seen the book entered in this year’s prestigious Pride In Print Awards.

Despite being issued at the height of last year’s Festive Season, the invite made such an impact that an outstanding 76% response rate was received within just four days of despatch, says Totem Communications creative director Jono Ashman.

“We were extremely happy with how many of the recipients said they were impressed that they were written into the detective story,” he says.

“Each year Totem hosts a Christmas party for our valued clients and business partners. The invitation is an ideal opportunity to showcase our and our industry’s thinking and creative ability.

“We have created a variety of direct marketing (DM) campaigns that make use of both printed and online mediums. What stood out in this job was extending the impact that data-merging can bring to DM -- instead of simply adding a recipient’s name in the title of the piece we integrated their name throughout the story and online interaction.”

Mr Ashman says crafting the job required the highest quality from a group of diverse suppliers in a short timeframe.

“Cass Hesom-Williams from Splendid wrote the detective story, DPod Digital Print data-merged and digitally-printed the pages, Die Cutting Services diecut the hole for the miniature vodka bottle and Tim Garmonsway from Bookbinding Etc collated, embossed, foiled and expertly-bound each invitation.

“It is very important to us that we produce every job, big or small, to the highest standards -- it doesn’t matter how great our idea is, if it isn’t executed well the whole job suffers. To that end we have developed strong relationships with range of quality local suppliers.

“Each supplier we worked with on this job has proven themselves on various projects in the past. Working with them as team members always extends our ideas into something special.

“I have always found New Zealand’s print industry to be passionate, innovative and detail-focused. Having print-managed jobs in other countries, I consider our print industry one of the highest in craft and creativity. With that in mind I wouldn't consider sending a job like our invite overseas.”

Mr Ashman says he looks forward to seeing how the job fares at this year’s Pride In Print Awards, which are being held at the Wellington Convention Centre on Friday May 8.

“Totem hasn’t been a regular entrant in Pride In Print to date. We now recognise that the Awards are a perfect vehicle to acknowledge the quality of our valued production partners and to reinforce the craft we strive for in every job we produce.”


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