Forget Virtual Reality: Letterbox Sampling Harnesses The Power Of Actual Reality

by Sarah Pike
28 August 2015

Thanks to more sophisticated, accessible technologies, brands are jumping on the virtual reality bandwagon in a bid to take consumers into immersive sensory world. But when it comes to delivering a real, tangible experience consumers won’t forget, actual reality trumps virtual reality every time.

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The fact is nothing can replace the power of engaging our full array of sense: sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. And while some media channels can target one or two senses, there’s one channel with the power to engage all five in a tactile, repeatable, scalable and targeted way: letterbox sampling.

According to Former Executive Creative Director of Ogilvy & Mather and current Editor of Directory Magazine, Patrick Collister, “Letterbox sampling gives brands amazing opportunities to create relationships with people. Why? Because it involves them through their senses. By combining creativity with tactility, letterbox sampling has the staying power other media can only dream of.

And we’ve got the science to prove it:

  • Sight – 83% of human learning occurs visually.*
  • Sound – 65% improvement in our mood if we hear sounds we enjoy.
  • Touch – A positive tactile experience can increase your mood by 29%, and promote feelings of well-being and calm.
  • Taste – A positive taste can boost our mood by 23%.
  • Smell – 75% of the emotions we generate on a daily basis are affected by smell.

Letterbox sampling has long proven to be the perfect channel for FMCG brands to get their products into the hands of customers – from handy travel-sized shampoo samples to coffee, breakfast cereals and more.  

But sampling doesn’t stop with products.

Increasingly service-based brands are getting creative with their sampling campaigns. Take Airbnb. When the accommodation sharing company wanted to raise brand awareness and understanding in China, they created and distributed a box replica of the very first Airbnb home in miniature form – complete with furniture and a tiny projector showing images of properties in popular destinations for Chinese travellers. The result was a 68% direct response rate and 50 pieces of media coverage.

That’s only one example of incredible sampling success. Following the renowned “I Wish I’d Thought of That” book on letterbox drops, Salmat’s media experts have once again put their heads together with Patrick Collister to compile a whitepaper filled with the latest intelligence on sampling, plus some fantastic examples of product and service sampling from around the globe.

Download your free Actual Reality whitepaper.

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