If you’ve ever seen a red dot on someone’s mail box this is why. The Red Dot Campaign website explains their initiative like this:

“The Red Dot Campaign is a privately funded social marketing venture. Paper is precious. Vast amounts of trees, energy, water and fossil fuels are used in the production and distribution of paper-based advertising. And yet the industry standard is a 2% response rate! That means 98% of these resources are wasted! We say its time advertisers join the 21st century and adopt data-driven print technologies, electronic communications and social marketing. The Red Dot Community will help inspire this change.”

I will admit, I have had a Red Dot Campaign sticker on my mailbox for a number of years and this stops my letter carrier from putting anything unaddressed into my mailbox. I love not having piles of junk mail to go through and I feel like I’m being responsible by turning away paper that I don’t want. Just say no to dead trees, right?

Having said all of this I am a designer and I have a passion for paper in all its various forms. I am also guilty of launching my first ever unaddressed ad mail campaign – yes, that’s what we’ve come to regard as “junk mail”. I sent out 1000 pieces of mail – one of my Nib and Tuck cards in a translucent envelope – last month in an attempt to drum up some interest in my custom-printed corporate holiday cards. I sent it to businesses in the V6C postal code area. That’s downtown Vancouver. I tried really hard not to make it look like junk. I hope I succeeded.

So far I haven’t received any nibbles from that campaign but Christmas is a ways off and the deadline line for ordering is in late October so I’m hoping the card is in people’s IN boxes awaiting attention as the holidays draw near. To be sure, I felt conflicted sending that mail out and I’ll feel a whole lot worse if no business comes from it.

I contradicted my Red Dot tendencies this year. We’ll see if it pays off or if it’s a shame I have to bear for time immemorial.  😉