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With the approach of its Diamond Anniversary Issue, Automotive News magazine built a direct mail program to court advertisers for this historic issue. After a special introductory mailer was sent out, targeted advertisers received a follow-up package bearing the words, “A proposal.” Inside, a beautifully wrapped package and bow immediately suggested a ring box, and indeed, advertisers unwrapped the paper to find a dainty, velvet blue ring box. Upon opening the box, instead of a ring, recipients discovered a round radiator hose clamp and a dramatic, laser-engraved blue metallic plate bearing the message, “Will you advertise with me?” One week later, the newspaper sent out a four-color postcard with the names of each of its regional representatives. This ingenious program pulled off the neat trick of marking the historical significance of a 75th anniversary issue while still managing to charm and amuse its audience.
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