Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Useful Junk Mail

I hope they send the next bit soon...
  (+10)(+10)
(+10)
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against]

We all hate junk mail.
We all hate telemarketing.
We all hate being advertised at.

It doesn't have to be this way. I would be perfectly happy to receive a large number of pieces of junk mail if they were attached to or printed on, say, the components of something nifty and useful, like maybe an iPad or a miniature helicopter. It can be from any number of companies, though probably needs to be co-ordinated by one ad agency.

So, you have to actually keep each piece of junk mail over a three month period, to put it all together at the end of the campaign. Adds to the fun, for most of us, and it's a win for the advertiser, whose ad is hanging around in your home, waiting for the rest of the bits to arrive.

The only thing that might be a problem is that it will put hundreds of thousands of underpaid Chinese assembly workers out of a job.

UnaBubba, Apr 30 2012

[link]






       I like this idea [+] - as long as the first piece isn't 99 cents with all subsequent 599 pieces available for only $15.69 each.
AusCan531, Apr 30 2012
  

       It's junk mail. They're sent to you for nothing, though the advertiser pays for them, just as someone pays for all of the useless shit that arrives in the mail now.   

       The difference is that this stuff can be made into something useful, other than kindling.
UnaBubba, Apr 30 2012
  

       I've just spent over an hour being sold to by a marketing/mailout house. I think the woman they sent to talk to us is probably very successful, if for nothing other than her aggressive use of her "assets".
UnaBubba, Apr 30 2012
  

       I think this would work best in cooperation with manufacturers of expensive wallpaper. If every piece of junk mail was printed on the back of a small piece of wallpaper, there would be a real incentive to keep junk mail, trade patterns with friends and, eventually, wallpaper your entire house.
hippo, Apr 30 2012
  

       [hippo] I will give you three striped pieces for your textured.
erenjay, Apr 30 2012
  

       Actually, if each big user of junkmail was associated with a particular pattern of wallpaper which was used on the back of their literature, then you could use the name of the organisation to refer to the pattern. So, you'd ask to swap, say, three Red Cross leaflets for your big pile of Domino's Pizza mailshots. This would allow you to further your goal of wallpapering your house in the "Red Cross" wallpaper pattern (a subtle red-and-white check). Use of the right wallpaper would, as well as decorating your home, communicate your tacit support and endorsement of a particlar organisation.
hippo, Apr 30 2012
  

       Can use it for spam as well. Little bits of code on each mail. Oh wait, they do that already.
4whom, Apr 30 2012
  

       I'll trade you a Dali watch for a Mona Lisa smile.
wjt, Apr 30 2012
  

       I'm not going to swap my red cross leaflets, I am saving up for one of the rare blood-smeared ones. When I get it, I plan to mount it on the wall over the gas heater (read: fireplace) with an empty picture frame in front of it.
erenjay, Apr 30 2012
  

       Old school hb style, complete with slight against chinese.
rcarty, Apr 30 2012
  

       and a typo in the commnet: "sleight".
FlyingToaster, Apr 30 2012
  

       (sp. "slight" - a humiliating discourtesy
"sleight" - deceitful craftiness (Miriam-Webster))
hippo, Apr 30 2012
  

       Sp. "commnet". "comment"
AusCan531, Apr 30 2012
  

       They should all come with origami instructions, or perhaps as puzzle pieces. Collect them all and finish a classic piece of artwork.
RayfordSteele, Apr 30 2012
  

       right I'll take p.1214 Mirriam Webster's, trade p.87 "101 card tricks".
FlyingToaster, Apr 30 2012
  

       Junk mail puzzles?
xandram, Apr 30 2012
  

       I've seen people use it for art projects. I dunno if that qualifies as "useful."
Alterother, Apr 30 2012
  

       Just hear those e-i keys clicking,
click click clickling too
Come on, it's lovely weather
for e-i snides together with you?
Somewhere the troll is trawling
and friends aren't calling, boo hoo,
Come on, it's lovely weather
for a e-i snides together with you?
rcarty, Apr 30 2012
  

       Sp. "clickling", "clicking" (Sorry, [rcarty] I just couldn't help myself.)
AusCan531, May 01 2012
  

       I think it fits the music better if you pronounce it click-l-ing...
scad mientist, May 01 2012
  

       Good idea too, but I can't seem to think of anything actualy useful that could be built from components that could be practically shipped with junk mail. I guess some kind of 3D puzzle/sculpture might be fun, but not actually useful.
scad mientist, May 01 2012
  

       Printed circuits, componentry, LCD screen units... I could think of a long list, [scad].
UnaBubba, May 01 2012
  

       All kinds of ingenious things can be constructed from die- cut paper and cardstock components.
Alterother, May 01 2012
  

       Not to mention the fact that if it was actually useful it would have no place here.
blissmiss, May 01 2012
  

       Maybe I have different assumptions:   

       1) If it cost more than two or three times the cost of traditional junk mail they wouldn't do it.   

       2) If it requires a soldering iron to assemble, it's not useful, so all components need connectors.   

       3) It must be flat enough to mail as a post card, so if you want to send an IC, it can't be a DIP, so it needs to be soldered to a PCB with a connector, leaving not very much of the budget for the actual IC. Also, I don't know if I've seen an LCD module thin enough. The actual LCD can be thin enough, but then assembly is usually bit more tricky.   

       Of coures if we got rid of my first assumption, the 3rd one can get relaxed as well...   

       Either way it could be an interesting design challenge. A kitchen timer created this way might be nice. It could end up sitting on the kitchen counter quite often, resulting in a big win for the advertiser. I suppose an advertiser might be willing to pay more than the normal cost of junk mail to get their name there on your kitchen counter.   

       Unfortunately I'd probably start to get annoyed after I had collected the components for my third timer. That's going to be a lot of electronics going into the trash.
scad mientist, May 01 2012
  

       Reflective panels to build a solar concentrator.
RayfordSteele, May 01 2012
  

       It is a brilliant idea, expect to see it soon. The trick is the first one detailing the idea of collecting the next n pieces to make an object...   

       The self adressed return envelope can include a section for missing parts/sections. Gauranteed return mail, breaks the ice at parties. And I wasn't joking that spammers could use it too. Small bits of non-malicious code could end up as some useful program/app. Trustworthiness on this may be a large barrier to entry.
4whom, May 02 2012
  

       //The self adressed return envelope// - this too would have to be printed with a wallpaper pattern, so it could be stuck to your wall if not needed.
hippo, May 02 2012
  

       //Reflective panels to build a solar concentrator.//
Baked years ago by AOL.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, May 02 2012
  

       With a "cut-through rate" of perhaps 0.01- 1.5%, normal junkmail is obviously viable for advertisers, or it would not be usrf. If you can increase that rate to, say, 8% with this sort of method then you'd certainly see companies doing it and putting money into the components / devices they brand and send to their target demographic.
UnaBubba, May 03 2012
  

       Advertising printed on pieces of cloth in various shapes. Sew them together for a fancy garment. (Adverts on the INSIDE of the garment, unless you prefer the Andy Warhol style.)
not_only_but_also, May 04 2012
  

       That would actually work. Screenprinting or sublimation dye would be perfect.
UnaBubba, May 04 2012
  

       ^^[+]
Alterother, May 04 2012
  
      
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