Flyer-in-the-mail Review: "PartyCity Halloween Costumes 2014"

Direct flyers have their own questionable return on investment.
What would it be for PartyCity? Their primary audience members are teenagers and their adult parents. Both being technically savvy consumers and capriciously averse to direct mail ads.

When your cash cow is teenage girls- flyers in the mail should be one of the lower priorities on your marketing list. If at all. Maybe you shouldn't spend it their at all. But you did. So let's do this now.

Party City- Halloween 2014
Homely looking image. Family friendly and quaint.

Cover illicits 3 small actions:
(1) Save up to 60%
(2) Shop Over 800 Stores

Page 1: No editorial note, or prominent CTA. Commences catalog clearly without explanation. Good enough, pictures speak more anyway.

Enter babies. 40 thumbnail images on each page- 38 to be exact on most. The showcase image is the size of 2 thumbnails highlighting best-sellers or inspirational pieces. There are 17 such pages. The layout is consistent, to an extreme.

The last 4 pages are different utilizing a larger canvas; prominent color palletes being Orange&Black. These are for accessories- hats, wigs, make-up & the miscellaneous.

Oh the Miscellaneous filler-page: Dog Costumes, Hanging Insects/Reapers & Ghostly white candy coating for strawberries.


  • A call to action on every page, for starters.
  • Website name and phone number to place orders. Can easily be added as a header or footer to the page. Reinforces the brand as well. Not a Correction: Domain-CTA is at the bottom, but you'd need a microscope. If it's not effective, it's a waste of space
  • A lot of modern direct flyers incorporate QR codes and the like to track ROI of the ad. Surely the same tech can be employed in placing orders- snap and add to shopping cart. The only ROI for a flyer in this demographic would be: Flyer-> Snap Picture -> Order Placed.
  • Too many images, in the same style. There was an age progression to speak of categories- what started with toddlers dressed as tigers ended up with genderless morphsuits.
  • The design could definitely be a little more mixed for an engaging catalog. There were just boxes on every page. Clearly the designers/marketers just printed the inventory without contemplating a catalog design.

    Manual word count for the phrases used:
    (Because that's how I spend my free time)
    Sexy: 2
    Witch: 4
    Witch > Sexy

    What's really good is the inventory. They have product. The models and the costumes are definitely doing a good job. So business should be jolly.
    What's a flyer matter anyway?