Using Fighting Words
This mailing by Colel Chabad, an umbrella philanthropy supporting a network of soup kitchens, day-care centers, dental and medical clinics, camp scholarships, senior centers and other social-welfare projects throughout Israel and the former Soviet Union, is a great example of jolting outer envelope design and copy that gets recipients inside.
The No. 10 envelope is designed in black, red and white colors, with reverse type. The right half of the outer is white, its purity interrupted by vertical streaks of black encroaching from the envelope’s left side, which is designed as though it was haphazardly brushed black with a paint brush. A horizontal stroke of red stands out on the black and in reverse type is the following copy: “The rockets that blasted northern Israel continue to have a devastating impact on thousands of families who have lost everything.”
Below this, in reverse type on the black background is the call, in all caps, “FIGHT BACK NOW … with food, clothing, and shelter!” It’s a great call to action, triggering a mix of emotions that includes anger and a passionate desire to help. The copy beautifully urges recipients to use that passion, that fierce energy, to right the wrongs that have been done and channel it toward good and peace.
In a matter of two sentences, the outer envelope conveys the organization’s mission, who it helps and the services it provides. The weapons are food, clothing and shelter. That they’re so benign, so altruistic, gives the call to fight back even greater potency.
There are other elements in the mailing — a double-sided, 8.5-inch-by-11-inch letter, a 3.5-inch-by-8.5-inch reply device with an epic long ask string that is worth examining, and a folded, glossy lift note that features photographs and a small, four-paragraph letter — but the outer envelope is the stand-out.