VIDEOS BY POST
Q: Can you recommend a company for mailing video cassettes?
A: Ultralite Video offers a lightweight VHS cassette that can be mailed
for the cost of an ordinary letter.
The case is made from recycled polystyrene and weighs 42g. You can get
about 15 minutes of recording time plus label, sleeve and shrinkwrap
under the 60g limit, although in most cases seven minutes is
This will cost 19p, or less if you take advantage of the 20% volume
discount offered by Royal Mail. That is a saving of 35p over the cost of
mailing a conventional VHS cassette. Even companies that deliver the
tapes direct to consumers' homes can benefit as it is more economical to
The format was launched in the US two years ago. Surveys show that nine
out of ten recipients actually watch the videos, and there is a sixfold
increase in response compared with letters.
Clients have included Anglian Home Improvements, which sent out 70,000
tapes for a conservatory promotion, and Universal Music, which has used
video to publicise new releases. Video is also ideal for travel
companies, which use it to reach those booking holidays.
Ultralite will carry out the duplication from your master tape, print
the labels and sleeves, shrinkwrap and deliver to you or your mailing
The cost for 10,000 is 55p, or 69p if you want full-colour printing.
For the minimum quantity of 1000 the cost is 75p without colour sleeve,
£1.35 with. Call 01932 841111; www.ultralitevideo.com.
BOOKS FOR BEACH
Q: Can you suggest any general books on management and marketing for
A: A new title recommended by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)
is Futureconsumer.com by Frank Feather (Capstone, £18.99, ISBN
This predicts how the internet will dominate our lives even more than it
does now and offers strategies for advertising and branding.
If you are looking for inspiration, CIM suggests Change Activist by
Carmel McConnell (Momentum, £15.00, ISBN 1843040034). This gives
some ideas about how to achieve personal fulfilment in your life and
Also look at Diversity Incorporated by Ron Johnson and David Redmond
(FT/Prentice Hall, £21.99, ISBN 0273650475), which describes how
to alchemise an excellent team from the raw elements of individual
workers. The CIM describes it as "essential HR knowledge, but readable
All of the above are available from CIM Direct. Call 01628 427427 or
e-mail email@example.com (postage costs are £3 for the first
book, then £1.50 each).
One popular title you could look at is The New Marketing Manifesto by
John Grant (Texere Publishing, £16.99, ISBN 0752821067), which
takes a close look at the emergence of brands as "surrogate traditions"
in the modern world.
Another might be We, Me, Them and It by John Simmons (Texere Publishing,
£12.99, ISBN 1587990458), which shows how to use language
effectively to communicate your offer. Both these books are available
from Amazon in the UK (www.amazon.co.uk).
Q: Is there a facility that will let users magnify images of the
products we advertise on our web site?
A: MGI's Interactive Imaging Suite is a software package that enables
you to create high-resolution, zoomable images. The goodies include
360-degree photo panoramas, three-D spin-nable objects and virtual
tours. This 'immersive imaging' helps make web sites user-friendly and
entertaining, as well as giving better visual inform-ation. MGI's own
site gives an idea of how the zoom facility works. It has examples of
panoramic views created by joining photos.
Clients have included travel group TUI, Gap, NineWest.com and
Zoomable images are said to have helped fashion retailer NineWest cut
online returns by 50% and raise sales by 30%.
The software costs £999 including VAT. Contact 01908 278100;
E-mail enquiries should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.