Let’s face it, COVID scuttled pretty much everybody’s plans in 2020. But the challenges it created also prompted many to come up with new and clever ways to bring everybody closer together, too. While Applied Underwriters transformed its traditional Indianapolis 500 watch party into a virtual event, the global risk management company also realized that printed save-the-date cards make a greater impression than emailed ones. Even more so when you print them on a brick. Or 2. Or 100!
Applied Underwriters is all about the grand gesture, particularly when it comes to throwing a party for its top brokers and agents. In 2019 they welcomed them to the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Golf Tournament in style, complete with tastefully branded invitations, gift boxes and a guide to the event. (Check out our video here.)
Save the Date
At the heart of this virtual event was a virtual cooking demonstration by Michelin Star Chef Mark Sullivan, peppered with funny video segments and cameos from celebrities, including rapper/actor Ice-T, sports commentator Erin Andrews, and actor Brian Baumgartner.
To get everyone excited for this unique experience, the creative team at Applied Underwriters began with an unforgettable save-the-date mailing.
Taking their inspiration from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s nickname “the brickyard” (as the raceway was once made of brick), Andresen printed “Indy 500,” their company name (and an illustration of their St. Bernard mascot, “Goldie”) in White ink on a red brick using an EFI Vutek H3 printer. (The UV ink cures immediately, allowing it to be applied to difficult surfaces.) This arrived wrapped in Brown paper and secured with string, from which dangled a smart looking hangtag containing the save the date teaser.
Later came the actual watch party invitation in the form of a metal Fire Engine Red toolbox. Covered in racing-related stickers – a very attention-grabbing touch – the box was designed to be a nod to teamwork, the company explains, as every Indy 500 car is built from scratch by each team the week before the race.
Inside, recipients found everything they’d need to enjoy the spectacle, including sun glasses, a “Make Some Noise” hand bell, and more – nearly everything in a Red that matched the box.
This included a handy 54-page guide to the event featuring a hot foil stamped cover made of Red 138 lb. Neenah Sedona Cover, with 70 lb. Mohawk Everyday Digital Text on the inside. From the front and side this looks like a typical perfect-bound book; only the back gives away that the cover is actually concealing the fact that the piece is spiral bound.
The ‘Final Lap’
The next package to arrive contained race day swag for each recipient and their family. This ranged from T-shirts and hats to an impressive sculpture of the company’s St. Bernard mascot, designed to be used as a phone stand. An illustrated guide explained each item included.
The final shipment showed up the day before the Indy 500 in a large Styrofoam cooler. Inside was everything one would need to cook along with Chef Mark Sullivan, including a branded apron, pepper mill, and a 40 oz. porterhouse steak!
While it’s hard to measure the success of a project like this, the Applied Underwriters event enjoyed a 91% attendance rate, with each guest remaining logged on for an average of 66 minutes. When you consider that the average person has an attention span of about 6 seconds, that makes this event a winner in anyone’s book.
The unique binding used for the watch party guide is a great reminder that there are many different ways to bind your brochures, publications and more. Discover 12 of the most popular options, including vital stats for each – download our free Binding Cheat Sheet now.