Links to Success: Fifth Third Bank

By Jennifer Wagley, Copy Chief

Behind every effective campaign are untold details, duties, and stories that never get told … until today. So read on, for a “behind-the-scenes” peek at one component of a

year-long program P/O/N developed for Fifth Third Bank.

Designed to drive new business by promoting corporate services and publicizing Fifth Third’s role as patron of the 2005 U.S. Senior Open, the “Links to Success” direct mail campaign launched in March of 2004 – and landed an impressive 13% conversion rate.

It all started with a “teaser,” a dimensional mailer delivered to prospective banking clients and created to pique their interest by withholding the identify – and intention – of its sender. The small green box of bent grass produced quite a buzz, with its short note addressing the importance of “growing assets” and getting “on course.”

Who would have guessed that securing – and sending – a simple piece of sod could prove to be so problematic? We began our quest for turf in January, only to learn that golf course grasses were dormant … from Ohio to Florida to Texas. The closest patch of growing greens we could locate was in Palm Desert, California!

It was then that the game, with all its obstacles and hazards, truly began. We had to determine a winning angle of approach, one that would allow us to move sod from the west coast to the Midwest to mid-sized corporations before the blades turned brown.

On March 8, workers at a turf farm in California harvested the sod, cutting and rolling it into 16” x 72” sections. The rolls arrived in Dayton early the next morning, where they were unfurled, misted with water and cut into 325 3” x 6” rectangles with a putty knife and mallet.

Each piece was then placed into a box lined with bubble wrap, topped with an insert printed on moisture-resistant paper and labeled. The next day, the packages were delivered to the desks of owners, presidents, and CEOs of companies throughout the region.

So, it’s true. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence – and the country. But at P/O/N, we don’t let little things like distance and dormancy come between us and the success of our business partners and their business-building campaigns.


Penny Ohlmann Neimann

The Ohlmann Group has a rich history that began in Dayton, Ohio in 1949, where the agency was founded as Penny and Penny by Bob Penny and his wife Jean. In 1964, Walter Ohlmann joined the firm. Ralph Neiman came on in 1969 and the firm became Penny/Ohlmann/Neiman. In 2011, P/O/N was renamed The Ohlmann Group to better reflect the agency's ongoing evolution and collaborative nature.

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