Direct Mail




Staples is the world’s largest office products company. Their diverse range has everything needed for the smooth running of the office. Within Europe, Staples has been growing steadily and services businesses of all sizes.



Staples already had a pre-existing campaign, aimed at driving sales among their current customers, and making them aware that the Mail & Ship category had undergone a major expansion with a diverse new product range. Our brief was to target SME businesses specifically, from small warehouses to eBay Power Sellers. Staples needed a new campaign to assure these potential prospects that Staples are the go-to destination for all of their packing and shipping needs, whilst also raising awareness of the product range, and driving sales. The target audiences were based in Germany and The Netherlands, and our prospect database supplied by the client was 40,000 strong. The existing creative, which had to resonate through our campaign, consisted of different sized brown paper boxes, emblazoned with motifs of diversely sized transportation vehicles, whilst the slogan; ‘From Big and Heavy to Precious or Fragile and everything in between’, accompanied all visuals.


The timeframe, from being given the brief to the client’s requested landing date for the Direct Mail pre Christmas, meant we had to work exceptionally quickly. We were determined to deliver a bespoke design answer, yet it had to be created in large volume. In our search for a unique concept, we explored cardboard technology. This inspired us to design a cardboard engineered, self-assemble reindeer! It was a huge challenge, one that also had to be mindful of production and postage costs, along with the logistics of delivering into Europe at the busiest time of the year for DM. The prospects also needed the time to redeem vouchers and order for their own business needs before Christmas.

Eager to avoid coming across as too ‘Logistics Industry’ sounding in our accompanying letter, and turning the busy festive period to our advantage, we conceived of a campaign message that conveyed all these thousands of small businesses as being integral to the success of Christmas. Whatever they were sending, no matter the size or fragility, Staples could handle it. With this campaign message, it was natural to be sending them the figurehead of the largest annual gift sending operation (Rudolph). With the Staples red for its nose, and logo on the backboard, the 3D reindeer certainly looked striking on the wall, and the entire DM was packaged in a full colour sleeve designed in a traditional brown paper, string and tag style. 

With this campaign message, it was natural to be sending them the figurehead of the largest annual gift sending operation (Rudolph)






An initial indicator of the campaign’s success was that the vast majority of the inevitable quota of undelivered returns that we received back were immediately whisked away by courier to Staples HQ in Amsterdam, to meet the extra demand! We also know that ‘Staples the Reindeer’, as it has been fondly nicknamed, has outstripped the normal brochure response rate and boosted positive conversations across social media.

Measured against the response rate of catalogues sales, this campaign gave a very healthy 60% uplift!


Measured against the response rate of catalogues sales, this campaign gave a very healthy 60% uplift!

I contacted Gasp after reading their monthly newsletter, which was not only creative but also conveyed their sense of fun (important when dealing with big asks and tight deadlines). They answered some very tough briefs and deadlines with imagination and complete commitment, and managed to achieve a balance between innovation and pragmatism that is vital to a successful, large scale DM campaign. There is no doubt that they have assisted in furthering Staples sales and awareness (Holland is now covered with our reindeers!). You work with companies again that you trust to get the best job done. I look forward to working with Gasp again soon.

Kirsty Montgomery, European Head of Acquisition, Staples

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