Yodeling in Purple

An advantage of direct mail, still unmatched online, is the ability to grab a customers attention with real stuff, as opposed to information, pictures, sounds, etc. Unlike the virtual world, direct mailers deal with atoms rather than bits. This can work, despite the increased cost, if you choose the right stuff and, of course, test your campaign.

These solid mailings usually get opened unless you’re expecting a bomb or your company’s mailroom intercepts them. The appeal of getting attention is not lost even on such a web centered company as Yahoo. I was reminded of this recently, when I received an unsolicited small plain brown square cardboard package.

The minimal label did not proclaim its contents – principally a circular purple plastic device perhaps 4″ in diameter and 21/2″ high. It looked like a large button. Press it and it would play Yahoo’s signature yodel sound. The video below shows it in action.

The box also contained a note and small brochure proclaiming the benefits of search engine advertising through Yahoo. These were similar to other mailings I’ve received from Yahoo.

That’s it. Not wishing to irritate my office neighbors or in need of a paper weight, I dumped it in the trash.

Questions left for the reader:

  • What does this have to do with search engine marketing?
  • Did the inclusion of the button significantly increase response rates?
  • Did Yahoo choose this tsatske because they thought prospects would like it or because it was not selling well on Yahoo’s company store?

I am not making this up! You can actually buy one of these for only $19.00 plus shipping at the Yahoo company store.

I guess I should have sold mine on ebay.