Direct Mail that STINKS! Cuckoo for Catnip

Here’s the last in the series of Direct Mail examples from the CE of the IPIA. This weeks case study is on a Canadian agencies DM piece for a bulk kitty-litter warehouse.

Rethink (a Vancouver agency) cleverly devised the campaign to target pets directly. They were literally going cuckoo for catnip! The DM piece landed on doormats and instantly invoked a reaction from pets. Which led owners to pick up the piece to see what they loved so much.

The Process

Well we have to get a little geeky over this bit. It involved spraying the stock with the Catnip solution prior to it going through the press, letting it dry and printing the marketing messages on. This in itself has to be done carefully as it can affect the print process as well. They also had to be sure their catnip solution worked, so they spent a while getting the right formula for this as well.

It’s not without it’s drawbacks though – 67% of cats are affected by this hereditary attractant. That means that 33% of the campaign would’ve had to rely on people picking up the piece without their pets interaction (which shows you still need a STRONG marketing message).


Well, it’s hard to say. They’ve not published many. Apparently there was a spike in sales and customers through the door. They originally sent 500 out to a target list, but the social aspect was by far, much higher. The video above has been viewed well over 400,000 times and like I’ve done here, has been featured on many blogs, Tweets & Facebook shares. This and the low mail out count, leads me to believe, a) it wasn’t as successful as they’d hoped & instead was an even more expensive ‘Spray & Pray’ campaign. or b) they had set it up, not just to increase sales – but to bolster the brand through Direct Mail, Social engagement & videos, which I think is by far the most likely outcome.

Whatever the results were on this, it enhances my next point…


If you’re not measuring your direct mail, you don’t know whats working! If you don’t know what’s working, you don’t know what to carry on with. Test, measure, test measure, test, measure. It’s the only way you’ll truly find what works for your business. Don’t be fooled into thinking that a one off Direct Mail campaign will bring you all the wealth in the world either. It takes time.

video courtesy of Rethink

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