Looking Like Christmas!

In last week’s Creative Spotlight, we commented that unlike past years, the majority of November direct mail creative did not have a holiday look and feel, even the DM that landed in mailboxes right before the cyber five week. There’s been a shift in direct mail received in the past week – and we say “hooray!” The world needs jolly right now!

The bulk of direct mail received last week was from the apparel and accessories categories. Following are several examples featuring uplifting, holiday-inspired covers.

UNTUCKit_dec 2020.jpeg
johnny was_dec 2020 1.jpeg
title nine_dec 2020.jpeg
guideboat_dec 2020.jpeg
sundance_dec 2020.jpeg
clare V_dec 2020.jpeg

We’ve seen a surge of small formats in the mail since spring. Last week was no exception, especially for gift brands and brand launches. The following are gift brands that were in the mail with 6×9 digest catalogs last week.

viridian bay_dec 2020.jpeg
the grommet_dec 2020.jpeg
frambridge_dec 2020.jpeg

The following brands launched with small format direct mail last week.


hedley&bennett_dec 2020.jpeg
therabody_dec 2020.jpeg


dr emil_dec 2020.jpeg
vaer_dec 2020.jpeg

For holiday, pages with price-point themes resonate with consumers who are keeping an eye on a budget.



We always stress that marketing money is best spent on reach. But as this is a blog about creative, we’ve got to mention unique executions. Most brands don’t have the budget for bells and whistles like the following examples that we’ve seen in the past few weeks (and from a response standpoint, they are not necessary). But it’s always fun to look.

Yeti  66-page perfect-bound catalog
Yeti 66-page perfect-bound catalog
Make your own paper cooler page
Make your own paper cooler page

Like last year, Amazon embraced direct mail with a 7.25×9.5, 92-page, perfect-bound toy catalog filled with activity pages. While we can admire the (expensive) creative, from the timing of the delivery to the inaccurate targeting, Amazon ignored direct mail best practices. For more on this topic, see our blog post Amazon Misses the Mark with its Holiday Toy Catalog.

Activity pages
Activity pages
Activity pages
Activity pages

Women’s apparel brand Splendid included a double gatefold in the center of their 40-page catalog. Of all the fancy paper executions mentioned here, this one is the least expensive. And filled with product as these pages are, they are also hard-hitting selling pages.

splendid_dec 2020.1.jpeg
splendid_dec 2020 2.jpeg
splendid_dec 2020 5.jpeg

An elegant piece outside and inside, the Perricone MD envelope was designed with typography in a metallic ink and was sealed with a gold metallic seal. When unfolded, the envelop became a unique star shape.



Brands are messaging about the challenges of 2020 in so many ways, from subtle body copy descriptions to more prominent founder letters. And then there’s our favorite holiday apparel brand Shinesty that attacks the topic with their signature over-the-top imagery and headlines.

Crate & Barrel  body copy speaks to smaller gatherings
Crate & Barrel body copy speaks to smaller gatherings
Clare V.  founder letter acknowledges the challenges of 2020 with welcoming optimism
Clare V. founder letter acknowledges the challenges of 2020 with welcoming optimism

Shinesty creative gives us the laugh we all need this year!

Christmas is still three weeks out. Tune into the Creative Spotlight blog again in a week or so for a look at more direct mail nudging consumers to buy.

Share this:

Our Clients We Work With 300+ Premier Retailers and DTC Brands and a Select Group of Nonprofits


Be the first to receive the latest insights from Belardi Wong.