Many people in the editorial and commercial industry still send out promotional mailers. But the truth is, if you are just sending out a flyer with a few photos, you are flat out wasting your money. Clint Davis worked a desk job as an Art Director for multiple national magazines, which gave him a front row seat to photographers and illustrators sending in promotional mailers. He branched out, and decided to defy the odds of being thrown in the trash.
Clint left his Art Director job for photography and decided if he wanted to book the jobs he dreamed of, he needed to stand out. When he decided to do a promo mailer he wasn't just going to send out paper mailers, he took ideas from what things stood out to him in the office. Finally in 2010 his idea of the "give me a shot" mailer was born. The original mailer he decided to send out was a box because he remembered throwing out pieces of paper flyers that came in like yesterday's news. But when he saw a box, it caught his eye and always ended up paying a little more attention to it. It meant someone spent time on that package, the packing, the hand addressing. The 2010 mailer included a disposable camera as well as flyer cards printed by moo.com, as seen below.
Clint had positive feedback on his first promo mailer and it was very successful. That fueled his desire to do it again, along with a higher budget. For his original fifty promo mailers, the cost came out to around $800. When that price is compared to booking possibly one gig of the 50, that doesn't seem too steep. This time around he had a higher budget and therefore decided to take a higher risk. He knew if he was spending upwards of $140 per mailer it needed to be extremely personal and show obvious attention to detail. Which is exactly what he decided to do with his 2014 "Give Me a Shot" mailer.
The guts of the mailer:
-Pelican case with logo painted on the back (rubber feet included)
-20 5×7″ drilled lustre prints with 1 print detailing contact info
-Hand painted bullet shell by friend and local artist Christina Ramsey
-Custom foam cutout velcro’d in to precisely hold the prints, and hand painted shell
-Hand scored paper wrap with signed personalized note to recipient
-Snazzy business card
Clint mainly targeted the first set of mailers for advertising agencies in the Greenville, SC area where he lives, and his name grew around the relatively small town. Before he knew it he was working as a designer at Cargo, an agency that represents Mercedes-Benz Canada, Microsoft, and other big names. No, it wasn't a big commercial photography gig, but eventually he was trusted to shoot the Mercedes-Benz 2014 campaign for their Sprinter van. That was his first big job, they rocked it, and since then he used that to push himself further in the commercial realm of photography. His original mailer caught they eyes of Chase Jarvis, Zack Arias, featured on petapixel, aphotoeditor, noplasticsleeves, and even PDN magazine. It was a huge boost to his morale to know that people enjoyed the budget mailer he made. Last year when he was doing some google searching for "promo mailer", he noticed it was common to see the "box" method being used. Which was a good thing, people were getting personal with what they were sending out. However he knew he had to step it up much higher to show how much he'd grown over the years. His 2014 definitely knocked it out of the park.