Sharing Smiles & Sending Good Vibes

Mike Gunderson
Sharing Smiles & Sending Good Vibes
The #GunderSmile Happier Holidays Gift Package

2020 was a year that had a lot of…um…‘stopping power’. And when everything comes to a halt, you are given the opportunity to turn that pause into perspective. So we asked ourselves some big questions: What matters the most to our clients? What matters the most to us as an agency? And how do we express the answers to both in the context of a holiday gift, in the middle of a pandemic? 

A Unique Solution

Positivity. Prosperity. Health. Happiness. Community. Those were the big answers to those big questions. And they are ideals not easily conveyed via a fruit basket or branded water bottle. So we pooled our resources—decades of direct mail expertise, award-winning omnichannel creative acumen, and a heaping helping of old-fashioned charity—and came up with the #GunderSmile Happier Holidays Gift Package.

How It Worked

Politics aside, everyone needed two things at the end of 2020: masks and good vibes. And thanks to its interactive, multichannel, multi-touch approach, the #GunderSmile Happier Holidays Gift Package provided both in spades.

In November, 500 clients, procurement partners, and prospects received a stunning Gunderson Direct metallic orange padded envelope, containing a dimensional mailer and three branded #GunderSmile facemasks, each with a graphic smile. 

Leveraging the power of smart speakers like Amazon Alexa and Google Home we included an AI Respond Fast® component, where recipients could invoke a seasonal greeting from Gunderson Direct President, Mike Gunderson.

The holiday mailer also featured a charitable social component: each time a recipient posted a picture of themselves or a loved one wearing a Gunderson Direct mask on social media with #GunderSmile, our agency would donate $5 to the Alameda County Food Bank. With three masks, each individual could add up to $15 to the total donation amount, engaging with the effort—and the brand—for a full three months.

On top of the mailer with masks, smart speaker, and social media components, an email campaign was set up to send periodic reminders, the donations made to date, and the great #GunderSmile pictures shared by recipients on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


Positivity. Prosperity. Health. Happiness. Community. That’s what we were aiming to convey. 

And based on the numbers—and the feedback—we delivered. Through recipients’ repeated interactions with the gift + social + charitable components, we were pleased to give over $500 on behalf of participants to the Alameda County Food Bank. And the verbatims from our clients were priceless:

“I’ve been out of the office for many weeks—back today to check in and got these awesome masks and charity possibilities. Thank you!”

“We’re thankful for all you do! And thanks for the masks we received from Gunderson. Stay safe and keep up all the excellent work!”

“Brilliant!  Just shared with our marketing group, and proposed something similar for a new campaign. Definitely win, win, win opportunity.”

“Love the new face masks and the idea of providing donations to the food bank! The holiday message via our smart speaker/phones (VACTA) was really impressive too!”

If you consider success quantitative, check out these numbers. But if success is qualitative—a feeling, not a measure—then how the spirit of the brand and sentiment of the effort was embraced by the recipients speaks volumes.

  • Response rate: 12%
  • Social engagement: 1,124 likes
  • Hashtags posted: 60
  • Dollars raised: $550

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Mike Gunderson

Mike is the founder and president of Gundir, the award-winning direct marketing agency. Since 2003, Gundir has helped businesses drive new leads and close more sales through traditional offline channels, especially direct mail.

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