Just For Me!
I received this postcard yesterday, and instead of being filled with warm, cozy thoughts of winter splendor, I was immediately put off. A bit odd, considering that:
- Two kids had taken the time to spell out my name in the cold
- Someone took the time to photograph this
- Someone took the time to send this to me
- My name was spelled my name right (a subject of great importance to me, and will surely be the subject of a future post…)
This was actually nothing more than junk mail — an ad from a local real estate company.
The back contained a listing about a property in our area, rather than a personal note of any kind. I had never met the sender, nor did they know me beyond mere “data” probably purchased elsewhere. Perhaps it’s because I’m familiar with the technology that allows one to customize a printed promotional item that made me so suspicious. Essentially, a software program scans data for a first name, places it into a template where a layout has already been designed, and a one-off postcard is printed on a small digital printer. Very clever, yet utterly misused.
The end result of this technologically sophisticated marketing is that I’m left feeling hollow. Not even for second was I given any feeling of a personal connection — their main intention. Obviously I didn’t know these kids, and surely they wouldn’t have braved the elements to arrange a pile of stones for a stranger. I know kids… having been one once myself: promises of hot cocoa can only work up until a point.
I must admit that the one shred of absolute brilliance here lies in their inadvertent typographic artistry: a “typeface” created from snow and stone which blends perfectly into the background of the image. The fact that this really looks like a photograph is quite amazing, and surely a huge part of its appeal to the real estate company’s marketing people.
However, it’s entirely possible that this same design is used to sell flowers, oil changes, and a million other things that most likely have nothing at all to do with kids, snow, or snowmen. Or me.