Elephants in Advertising - Direct Mail
You know what it is ... commonly called "junk mail" ... catalogs, flyers, letters, cards or what have you that come through the mail to try to get you to do or buy something. Sometimes the mailers use elephants to entice you to read their offers and proposals. Here we show you a few we have received over the years.


Sweepstakes - World Wildlife Fund
WWF's own logo is a panda, which certainly is among the world's endangered species, but to get your attention in the mail they adorn the envelope with lovable ELEPHANTS and some zebras and other hoofed species to fill in the white space. The elephant is king, not only of the jungle and the savannah, but apparently of the direct mail marketplace.

A direct mail promotion by World Wildlife Fund for its Natural Wonders Sweepstakes arrived in this large 6x11 dark buff envelope. You may have to strain your vision to see the image at lower left corner on the envelope because it is printed in gray. It's, of course, an ELEPHANT.


The brochure inside explains all the prize opportunities and prominently features a group of elephants. Other animals are pictured but each occupies less than 1/3 as much space as is given to the elephants, proving once again, elephants get results.

The elephant photo is credited to Rick Weyerhaeuser. There is no copyright notice on either piece.





Post Card - Imax Theater
"Thundering Across The Giant Screen AFRICA'S ELEPHANT KINGDOM Showing Exclusively at the Houston Museum of Natural Science."

This full color postcard ad ran as the cover in a collated deck of direct mail postcards published by RSVP Houston, Texas Autumn 1998. The film is identified as a product of Discovery Channel Pictures. The reverse side of the card has a free ticket offer printed over a grayscale close-up of an Africa Elephant. Beautiful ad. Must be a beautiful movie too when shown in Imax format. Card measures 5.5 inches wide by 3.5 inches high.

Post Card - Collection Stickers
by Renton's International Stationery, Inc. Denver, Colorado

The large image is a 5.5" x 3.5" postcard inserted into an advertising card pack sent by direct mail.

The smaller image is an enlargement of the tiny sticker on the card. The elephant is labeled "JUST A FRIENDLY REMINDER" which of course plays off the elephant's reputed ability to remember things and the generally held opinion that elephants are friendly toward mankind. Possibly the most friendly of the wild animals.



Poster Mailer - Busch Gardens


Above is the address panel, also seen on the upper large image. When unfolded reveals a really nice classroom poster all about elephants. Printed in USA for Busch Gardens Zoological Education Dept. This copy obtained from a school in 1996.

Calendar Sample - Carousel Elephant
This is one page from a promotional calendar mailing to show the capabilities of design and production by a group of firms serving commercial and industrial clients. They must have chosen the elephant for its charm and appeal.

USA by Ad-Lib / Vela Productions. Scitex final film output by Typografiks, Inc., Printed by Signature Press, Inc. ©1991 Ad Lib/Vela Productions.

Envelope Mailing - Athletic's Elephant
In October 1997 we received this 11.5 x 6 inch envelope from Willabee & Ward, Norwalk, Connecticut, showing the Pro team A's elephant logo in a window. They were selling histroic baseball patches shown on a brochure inside. Of all the images they could choose to show through the window the picked the elephant. Gets people to open it.

Envelope Mailing - Born Free Foundation
BFF in the UK sent us this mailing in 1999 asking us to renew membership and continue supporting their animal conservation work. You will note their own logo is a lion (from the Born Free story and movie) but to make the appeal they placed a baby elephant on the envelope's outside. Elephants are appealing. In this case, appealing for funds.

Invitation - Elephant Club
First up is an invitation. Black and white 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inch invitation card to a meeting of "The Elephant Club" inserted in letters mailed to registered voters in Jacksonville, Florida.

The card, as well as letter and envelope, uses a clipart image which is also displayed on this site.

Envelope Mailing - Wildlife Conservation
These envelopes are part of a direct mail fund raising campaign we received in 1990. It was mailed by the New York Zoological Society for Wildlife Conservation International.

They offered a free animal kingdom calendar which has many species in it. But for promotion purposes, they focused on the Elephant. The brown window envelope carries a white sticker telling of free stamps enclosed. The white business reply envelope also uses the Elephant image. We submit that Elephants are simply more popular than other endangered species and more likely to get the mail piece opened.

Post Card Mailing - Wildlife Safari
Received in 2000 promoting a tour following a conference.

Post Card Mailing - Republican Senatorial Committee
When any segment of the Republican Party send a fundraising mailer it invariably has one or another type of elephant illustration on it.

Post Card Mailing - International Wildlife Museum
This card depicting a mammoth was mailed in a co-op package of direct mail cards by RSVP in 1998.

Post Card Mailing - US Press
Front view of a 4x6 postcard promoting color printing by U.S.Press in Valdosta, Georgia and on the web at uspress.com.

Appears to be just a comical use of an elephant image, the rear end, to get attention from card recipients. The card, printed in photo-realistic full color, does show off the abilities of U.S.Press to produce this kind of printed matter for customers. Card mailed in Summer of 2000.

Catalog Mailing - HP in Corporate Express
Hewlett-Packard ad in Corporate Express 1998 catalogue inside front cover:

Bring your big ideas to life.
With some things you just can't afford to cut corners. Which is why you should use only genuine HP toner, inkjets, papers, transparencies and accessories with your HP printer. All HP supplies are custom engineered to work hand-in-hand with your HP printer. This adds up to a 100% precision printing system that delivers perfect print quality every time.

When you want to make a big impression for just peanuts a page, get noticed with genuine HP computer supplies for your HP printer. No copyright notice.

[Commentary: Prominently uses elephant photo and attribute "BIG" in headline. Body copy repeats 'big' and mentions 'peanuts' which are presumed to be among an elephant's favorite foods, and suggests you get 'noticed'. Elephants can't help being noticed wherever they appear. To further reinforce the arguments, the image in the center right of page shows a Hewlette-Packard wide format printer producing a large banner photo of ... peanuts ... right next to the elephant's trunk. An altogether clever use of elephant imagery.

Corporate Express is a vendor of imaging and computer supplies. They have office throughout the USA.

Statement Mailing - Comcast
In 1999 Comcast Communications, the cable company, ran a sweepstakes and promoted it with this graphic piece included with May billing statements. Note the emphasis on "BIG"

Brochure Mailing - Elephant Research Symposium
Direct Mail Brochure for Third International Elephant Research Symposium
11x17 folded to 3 panels.
Southwest Missouri State University & Dickerson Park Zoo, 1998 June

Post Card Mailing - Puppets
Appears to be a promotion for puppet shows featuring elephant puppets. The puppet's costumes and crowns look mighty like King Babar and Queen Celeste. I don't have the card and can't say what is on the other side besides an address panel.

Catalog Mailing - Noble
Noble is a mail order catalog featuring fabulous reproductions of medieval and rennaisance era weaponry. They offer magnificent swords and daggers and so forth. The cover of the catalog we recieved in 1997 shows a war elephant being used by Roman military personnel. Quite dramatic. Elephants usually are.

[January 1999 logged in to www.noblecollection.com and found a hugely expanded collection of marvelous items in many categories including theme groups for the likes of Harry Potter, Batman and others.]






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