Multiple advertising tools are used to build awareness and use of postal products and services. This year, postal advertising again featured Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes — “a simpler way to ship.” The campaign carried the message, “If It Fits, It Ships,” in a variety of entertaining, yet believable, scenarios.

During the holidays, the iconic carrier “Al” was featured in two commercials that urged residential customers to go to usps.com/holiday, to order Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes to ship their gifts. More than 850,000 shipping kits were fulfilled as a result. After the holidays, the campaign focused on package returns. As the popular commercials continued throughout the year, customers were able to request free shipping kits by mail, by phone, or the dedicated Web site, www.prioritymail.com. In addition to three new product television commercials, one of the later ads featured characters from Disney Pixar’s Toy Story 3.

This year the Postal Service expanded the audience for its successful Deliver magazine, which now includes marketing executives at small and medium-sized businesses. The magazine provides marketing executives with insights about mail and creative ways to use it to gain and keep customers. To engage small and mid-sized businesses, the magazine has added a new department that profiles successful small business mail campaigns. New tools and content for small businesses were also added to the magazine’s Web site, delivermagazine.com. A survey of Deliver readers confirmed that magazine improved their opinion of direct mail (74 percent), improved their opinion of the Postal Service (73 percent), and increased their intention to spend more on direct mail (53 percent). The magazine and Web site have won more than a dozen awards for design and editorial excellence.

The Postal Service also launched several initiatives to promote mail to targeted segments. Business and consumer audiences were introduced to Sample Showcase, an innovative new product offering, using advertising mail and a microsite. An integrated campaign aimed at increasing use of hardcopy catalogs by Internet retailers featured advertising mail, Web banners, webinars, and email. Eligible Standard Mail users received advertising mail communications announcing the 2010 Standard Mail Summer Sale.

For small businesses, the Postal Service developed promotional kits to help postmasters identify how to build new business by matching their customers’ needs with available products. Support was also provided for city carriers under the Customer Connect program, and for rural carriers under the Rural Reach program.

image of al the carrier holding all the priority mail flat rate products