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Marketing Does Matter: Matter Does Marketing

What Is It?
As described on their site:

"Matter is a new and unique idea in communications that brings companies and people together around real, physical stuff–things you can hold in your hands, keep in your drawer, or give to your friends. It's a new way for companies to introduce themselves by giving you something you might like.

Matter works a little like a magazine by creating specific boxes for different audiences, except each bit of 'content' is in fact a different object each created by a different company. Matter works with each company to create items you'll enjoy getting, which might be something that explains what the company does, its ideas or its values, or simply something to try out.

Matter is a refreshing interlude to the fast-moving blur of modern media. It's stuff you can read, play with, or try at your leisure. But becasue Matter is carefully created it's also a thoroughly modern concept–it's advertising you'll want to keep."

Those of us who've been in marketing since pre-digital communications may recognize this as good old fashioned co-op targeted direct mail comprised of samples - only packaged in far hipper way.

Matter is a collaboration between Artomatic and Royal Mail.

Click here to read more about them.

What was in the first Matter Box?
(Which, by the way, arrived at homes just yesterday!)

The descriptions and images of the items in the box below are reprinted from

Sony Ericsson.
Iris were the first agency to get onto the Matter trail with the Music Monster, a cult-ish figure that represents your personal musical desires that becomes real in its own straw-lined packing case complete with bite-marked brochure. And after an extended amount of will-they, won’t-they anxiety, Andy Smith made it happen.

Stolichnaya Vodka.
Peter Riley at 20:20 was unwavering in his willingness to join the Matter trial and created this intricate and ornate enamel lapel badge along with a miniature guide to Russian cultural icons. The badge is a jewel and the tiny format brochure is perfect in its red-stitched execution.

Nintendo Wii.
conceptual thinking guns-for-hire Rebecca and Mike helped with the idea for this, which turned out to be easier to make than expected. The defining characteristic of the games console is perfectly communicated in a single, simple object–a Wii wristband.

EVO Magazine.
The original idea was to create the ‘EVO Apex Finder’, a self-adhesive road stud similar to ones they use in Motorway contra-flows which would have allowed car enthusiasts to mark their favourite turn-in point on any corner. However, social-responsibility issues this raised their head and the idea was swiftly abandoned in favour of a game of EVO trumps which more accurately reflect EVO’s position as an unrivaled source of automotive knowledge.

Original Source.
This shows that Matter can also work as a sampling channel, which I’m happy with–providing there aren’t too many samples and they’re the right ones.

Virgin Atlantic.
Martin Muir at Start Creative helped secure this contribution–an award-winning calendar about how the airline’s changing–and even pursuaded the client to offer Matter recipients an exclusive invitation to use the new Upper Class Lounge on their next Virgin Atlantic flight. Nice.

Daren Kay at TMW brought his team together to create this item to prompt people to think harder about the Nissan brand. It’s brave in that it’s about the Nissan brand and not any specific model. A set of crayons that are really soap tell a story about how Nissan’s not what you expect.

Sony Bravia.
Paul Beier at Iris helped bring this idea to reality just minutes before the client disappeared for three weeks. Pots of Play-Doh allow people to create their own version of the award-winning Rabbit TV commercials.

Jordans Cereal and Penguin Books
Mark Waites at Mother has long been interested in Matter and his colleagues Jo Forel and Iskra Tsaneva came up with the idea for Cereal Poetry, which turns breakfast into a new literary occasion–because everybody always reads what’s on the cereal box.

Cool, huh?
The next box goes out sometime this summer.
Interested in either advertising in the next Matterbox or in receiving one?
Click here to learn more about it and Matter.

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