For the last few years the focus has been on digital. It’s faster, cheaper and can be more innovative. Many called it the death of direct mail.

Ricola shows it’s not dead. It’s just been neglected.

A few weeks ago Ricola offered me a Klout Perk. I like their lozenges, it’s cold season. I thought, why not? I was expecting a small padded bag in the mail.

Today, this box was delivered.

Ricola Direct Mail

I was impressed. It’s big, about 12″ long. It’s strongly branded. The postage label says it cost a whopping $8.90 to deliver.

Then I opened it…

(Turn up the volume)

Impressed? I am. Two packs of Ricola lozenges were inside the massive “lozenge”. One original flavor and one of their new extra strength menthol mint flavor.

While taking the photos and filming the box, all I could think was, “It’s a singing box!”.

Cough lozenges are a difficult thing to promote. No one actually likes them, because you only need them while ill. There’s minimal product differential, and low involvement.

Which is what makes this campaign by the Ricola marketing team so brilliant. Even though the packaging is the appeal, I know the lozenges are made from a Swiss recipe with herbs, and Ricola has a yodel catch phrase. Yes, I’m likely to buy these cough lozenges, and I’ve shared packaging photos on Instagram, Twitter and facebook. I guess that means I’ve behaved as desired.

Would I do anything different?

I’m not convinced on distribution via Klout. Generally, it’s a terrible way to identify influencers, but cough lozenges are a very difficult product to promote. I can’t think of a way to do it otherwise. Remember, they didn’t want their existing fans (they’ll buy and share anyway), and no one really wants to talk about illness.

Disclaimer: As mentioned, these were a gift via Klout. I’m sure you agree though that it hasn’t influenced my opinions. The packaging is brilliant marketing.

Ricola Direct MailDirect Mail Ricola

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