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Wednesday 11 February 2009

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Virgin Atlantic's telescopic mailing

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WHAT This Virgin Atlantic Flying Club mailer teams paper engineering with brand enhancement. It comprises three 200mm-long sections in a 200mm-long sleeve. The pieces are connected and the telescopic mailer can extend to an 800mm direct mail piece or can be hidden during postage to avoid high mailing costs.

WHO It was the brainchild of integrated communications company Gyro International. The firm partnered with printer Emeness and cardboard engineering specialist Wellprint to develop the technical specifications and produce the cutter guide. London-based Emeness, which was recently acquired by Dsicmm, handled the printing, fulfilment and mailing.

WHERE The mailer was sent to around 33,700 recipients in October 2008 to promote Flying Club air miles and to boost earnings through Virgin Atlantic’s network of airline partners.

HOW Several laminated stock dummies were produced and tested to determine the best weight of stock and type of laminate needed for ease of opening and protection. The last connecting section was made double the thickness to prevent damage in the post and to provide a sturdy pull-out tab. The sleeve was printed on 120gsm 9Lives offset while the pullout guide was printed on 350gsm Lumi silk. Both grades were supplied by PaperCo and are FSC certified. Emeness printed the piece on a six-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster CD 102 plus coater before it was silk-laminated and die cut.

WOW The use of clever paper engineering meant the mailer’s size wasn’t restricted by Royal Mail’s size-based charging system. By pulling a tab poking out from the sleeve, the mailing can be expanded to a considerable length, generating real impact with recipients. The continuous image of an Airbus printed across all four sections of the piece proved a simple and effective way to advertise the airline’s high number of partner companies. The additional length provided by the adjoining sections also creates enough space for Virgin to print all of its company information in a legible size without overloading the customer.

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