Creative Cage Match: Summer Lovin’ Edition

Happy [Belated] First Day of Summer! Time to break out the water wings and SPF 1,000 and enjoy the weather while it lasts. And like any good marketers worth their salt would do, I received a handful of summer-themed emails in my inbox yesterday.

There’s a reason that pro-wrestling is so popular — and it’s not just the juicy drama and bespangled costumes. People love a good fight, and have for millennia, dating back to the gladiators of Rome and beyond.

So, once a month I’m going to select two marketers and toss them into a Creative Cage Match. I’ll be looking at everything ranging from email to direct mail, website to mobile site. It’ll be a mix of objective and subjective, and each time a marketer will walk out of the ring triumphantly.

First Day of SummerHappy [Belated] First Day of Summer! Time to break out the water wings and SPF 1,000 and enjoy the weather while it lasts. And like any good marketers worth their salt would do, I received a handful of summer-themed emails in my inbox yesterday.

In this corner, we have Caviar from Square, Inc. which allows participating restaurants to add delivery service. For consumers in select cities, Caviar enables hungry diners to order either online or via their smartphones from some of their favorite sit-down restaurants. Real-time GPS tracking is provided, so you can keep an eye on your food as you wait for it arrive. And who doesn’t love seeing the bike couriers with the bright orange Caviar packs zipping around the city?

Across the ring we have Designer Shoe Warehouse, better known as DSW to shoe fanatics (cough, cough). DSW operates brick-and-mortar retail locations, as well as an online site, and rewards its shoe lovers with a popular loyalty program.

Email vs. Email

I wanted to see just what these two marketers could come up with in reference to the first day of summer and the sunny months that will follow. Let’s start with DSW:

DSW summer email part 1 DSW summer email part 2DSW kicks off its subject line with the sunshine emoji (appropriate), reading: “☀️Hey, summer! $15.95 & up sandals for the new season.” I need another pair of sandals like I need a hole in my head, but $15.95 and up caught my thrifty shopper’s eye.

Much like last month’s Creative Cage Match competitor ModCloth, DSW plays around with flamingo lawn ornament images, as well as brightly colored sandals. However, I was a little disappointed when I found that, despite clicking on a particular sandal in the image, I just went to the “flip flop and beach sandals” category page.

While the images all looked fantastic and summery and the subject line definitely caught my eye, I felt like the actual content of the email left me hanging. And I wouldn’t call a “flip-flop” a sandal …