Royal Mail: I Saw This and Thought of You
In the early/mid 1990s, Royal Mail wanted to reinvigorate social mail communication.
It saw this as being part of a “balanced doormat” strategy, whereby if people received more mail from friends and family, they’d be more likely to experience anticipation at the post arriving, hence improving response rates for commercially valuable direct mail too. They were however aware that the traditional art of letter writing, and the associated etiquette, was in decline and seen as a hassle and a barrier. So I Saw This and Thought of You was designed to stimulate more spontaneous, less formal use of the post, sending physical items that could evoke emotion through all five senses.
At the time email was not a mainstream form of communication and the main “competitor” was BT with their “It’s good to talk” campaign.
Originally targeted at teenagers, the campaign was adopted as Royal Mail’s lead consumer campaign as a stopgap, whilst another “big idea” was being developed. However it proved so popular with consumers, it went onto run for many years, and the other campaign idea never saw the light of day.
The lead creative agency was Bates Dorland, Carat for media. Key client leads over the years included Linda Norris, Barry Burke, Rosena Robson and Andrew Warner.