How Heineken Used Direct Mail to Take a Historic Space Selfie Macromark 2016-03-15 02:13:53 Our Blog

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    How Heineken Used Direct Mail to Take a Historic Space Selfie

    Mar 15 | By:  Categories: Our Blog

    direct mailIt seems Heineken has taking marketing to a whole other level—or whole other planet to be exact. In the beer brand’s most recent publicity campaign, it was able to draw immense attention by taking the first selfie from outer space. And the fuel that fired up this engine was a massive direct mail campaign, which was massive not in numbers but in design and impact.

    How Spyfie Happened

    The term “Spyfie” refers to the first selfie being taken from beyond the Earth. Hundreds of contest winners would pose in the middle of the Hoover Dam while a camera set up in outer space snapped the photo. But getting to the point where that was possible took a lot of work. What made this project slightly more challenging is that Heineken wanted to give the impression that the entire thing was a top-secret mission.

    However, it needed recruits for Spyfie, so it utilized direct mail marketing as the only means of communication and primarily targeted media personnel in Singapore. This wasn’t just any piece of direct mail, though. It wanted the invitations to somehow reflect the nature of the once-in-a-lifetime experience to which these influencers were being invited.

    So, Heineken created a polycarbonate hard case and hand delivered it to 180 of the top media influencers in Singapore. Inside of the case was a replica space station drone that was a precise miniature replica of the International Space Station, which is where the cameras were set up.

    What ignited more interest in the campaign was the fact that these media influencers began sharing their direct mail kits over social media. Heineken estimated the PR value of the campaign to be just under $280,000. In the end, two winners were invited to be part of the selfie from space—an event that turned out to be a historic. However, the excitement around the process is what made this campaign special.

    How Direct Mail Made This Possible

    When reflecting on the nuances of this campaign, it’s clear to see that this could not have happened in the manner it did without direct mail marketing. The physical design of the mailer created a presence that sparked the energy of this campaign. The media influencers receiving the hard case with the mini space station inside is memorable, and it’s what moved them to take action across various media platforms.

    That is one of the biggest benefits of direct mail marketing. Being able to touch something physical engages targets on a sensory level that isn’t possible with any other means of marketing. Heineken also took it a step further by hand delivering each case to the selected target, which created even more intrigue and made the entire process as significant as the actual Spyfie.

    The direct mail campaigns we’ve conducted for our clients at Macromark have lead to similar success for their companies. We’ve been able to start by providing lists that cater specifically to their goals, and then we continue by providing guidance on steps such as copy and design.

    We have a history of leading successful direct mail campaigns that spans over three decades. Contact us before beginning your next campaign and find out how we can help.


    Cockett, J., “Direct mail case study: Taking a selfie from space,” Marketing-Interactive, March 7, 2016;

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    David Klein

    David Klein is CEO and President of Macromark, Inc. David has a rich and deep background in direct response marketing. His experience comes from being a consultant and list broker with more than 25 years in the Industry; working with several hundred different clients in just about every industry, market or niche found in direct mail. David is a graduate of the University of Illinois with high honors advanced degree course work in Marketing Communications from Roosevelt University in Chicago. Part of Macromark’s vision is to help its clients succeed in their acquisition efforts for finding new customers regardless of the marketing channel or media used. Add me to your G+