So I recently bought a new car. A VW Golf Wagon. Just the right balance of race car (6-speed turbo diesel engine) and mom car (room for my 2 kids and our shaggy dog).
I came home to this in my mailbox.
Wrapped in that old-school brown paper, hand-taped. A stamp from “Wolfsburg, Deutschland” on the top left. It looks like a real stamp, so I touch my finger to the snow and try to smudge the ink the way Steve Thomas taught me. No smudge. So it’s a fake/real stamp. And I notice the “Addressed Admail” Canada Post indicia. So, being a direct marketing nerd I know it’s “junk mail”. But I also know that it’s going to be damn fine “junk mail” because someone is going to lots of effort to make this look and feel like real mail, just to me, right from VW HQ in Germany. I rip it open, and inside is a box saying “Welcome to the family”.
I open it up and out drops a letter from “Markus Schafer, Engineer”. He introduces himself and gets to “I was lucky enough to work on the design of this superb vehicle…” and a bit of dull language about cutting edge technology and German expertise. Not exactly my stein of Pilsener but I get who he is and the context. And then, the genius. “It’s no surprise that after such a great deal of effort I have become extremely attached to your Golf. I am sure you can understand. With that in mind, I would be extremely grateful if you could take good care of it. Spend time with it. Show it some affection. That is why I have sent you this chamois cloth. It is perfect for lavishing some extra special attention on your car.” And the cloth says “Now it’s your turn to give it some love.”
And, of course, the offer. Membership in VW Plus program to get exclusive benefits and privileges…
You, my dear readers, have likely read me rage on about premiums. Charity premiums are almost always loathsome. But this is an example of a premium done perfectly. Gets me into the package. Reminds me why I love VW. Actually useful.
This morning, I thought I loved my VW most for the heated seats. This afternoon, it’s their slammin’ direct marketing.