An urgent letter.
As I am continually deluged with credit-card application junk mail, I am amazed at the lengths marketers will go to get you to open the mail. Aside from the standard notices—not to discard, to view immediately the enclosed time-sensitve material, and DO NOT FOLD (a warning sure to stop those envelope-folding mail carriers in their tracks!)—the credit card companies are getting pretty
Take those crafty folks at Bank of America, for instance. As you can see in the photo above, I recently received a communique from the good folks at Bank of America. Being the important individual I am, there was enclosed important material for my immediate review. I was neither to discard this letter, nor fold it.
But wait! If these stern warnings didn’t get me to open it, perhaps the notion that an actual credit card was enclosed would. Did you miss it? Perhaps this view will refresh your memory:
Yes indeed; it is the faint outline of a credit card, as if the heft of the card wore through the envelope (perhaps as the mailman was folding it?) and was about to reveal to the world my new card number. “Yes,” I thought, “I had better open it—I must open it—lest Donald Trump finds my card while rifling through the trash!”
As I commenced cutting into the envelope to retrieve my “card” for the shredder, I noticed something peculiar. There was no card behind the mysterious rubbing. I investigated further. It appeared now that the supposed “phantom card” was not a phantom at all.
Upon closer inspection, I determined that the fake “card” had not rubbed through the paper, but was printed upon the surface of the envelope. The dot pattern, when viewed at close range, reveals a 10-15% black screen that was undoubtedly printed upon the paper at the same time as the “DO NOT FOLD” and the mailing indicia.
Bank of America’s slogan is, after all, “Higher Standards.” Just what kind of impression this false impression will make is debatable, but it’s clear that this takes
deception creativity to a higher standard indeed.