So, it's finally Polling Day, and about time too. I tell you, if we didn't have this every four years I don't know how I'd satisfy my putting-crosses-in-boxes proclivity.
This time around, I was up at 5am in South-West London to play direct mail boy for the Lib Dems, and it was pretty enlightening. Great fun too. (and I have to say in passing that the feeling I got from having helped out was well worth it, I'll be doing it again) I got to distribute 200 of these -
<--- image justified to left. Ha! Ha!
The following thoughts are dedicated to anyone who's ever instigated a direct mail campaign and wonders what it's like. Extra, extra, read all about it:
-Once you start to see the act of forcibly inserting flyers into people's personal spaces through a small slot in a psychosexual context, it's almost impossible to shake. So don't start.
-Some gates are impossible to close. As a mild obsessive, this became rather distressing.
-Those 'no junk mail' gambits come in more varieties than you can imagine, and strangely I found myself treating different kinds in different ways. So, here's my roundup of anti-mail measures, from least effective to most:
-Standard No Junk Mail sign. Makes you stop and think, but actually provoked me into thinking "how dare you call my vital communication junk mail? I shall give this to you just to show you how wrong you are"
-Same, but printed on a plaque of some sort. "Damn, this guy would pay to keep mail away? He is a) quite serious about it, and b) sufficiently resourced to hunt me down". They work on the newbies.
Or maybe we could make it clearer.
-Sign with implied/explicit 'green' agenda. These will be in a green typeface or have some sort of environmental organisation's endorsement, or a specific recyling message. These certainly made me stop, as it combines direct request with a challenge to your very profession. I reckon these are the way to go.
One last thought. As I set off on a task which I was excited to try, for a party I was proud to help, I had high spirits. But when I got to the crunch of actual delivery, I felt a little sleazy, like an unwanted intruder, an invader on personal space. I was hoping I wouldn't get caught in the act. And yet, I've instigated a few Door Drop mail campaigns over the past year without a hint of remorse - and those were for commercial products, not political enterprise in the name of fairness. And to anyone else in advertising - what exactly do you think your actions constitute? Have a think about what your campaigns actually mean for the recipient.
And for Door Drop Guy.
p.s. fucking VOTE WILL YOU