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Steelcase: Sick Note Direct Mail



Our Mission


Steelcase is an international workspace consultancy and a global innovator in sourcing clever office furniture. In other words, they’re all about improving how people use their offices.

Steelcase charged us with a very special mission; to come up with a creative and fun marketing campaign to promote their range of spine–friendly office chairs.

The Master Plan


We knew that Steelcase’s chairs were great for reducing back pain in the workplace, so this was our starting point. We researched the issue of back pain and discovered that it was the second highest reason for employee absenteeism. This staggering statistic was the inspiration for Steelcase’s key message; that their office chairs could reduce absenteeism in the workplace caused by back pain. That’s when our creative wheels really started turning.

Our plan was to integrate this intelligence into two marketing emails and a direct marketing piece.

Hitting the Mark


Knowing that Steelcase wanted a lively campaign that would generate a buzz about their product, we came up with the concept of a doctor’s note or "sick note" as a tongue in cheek a way of delivering their message.

We created email campaigns based on this idea, with images of sick notes describing the symptoms of back pain and prescribing Steelcase’s chairs as the remedy. Recipients could then reply to the message for more information or to set up a meeting.

We continued the theme in the direct marketing campaign, taking it to another level by creating larger than life sick notes to send to potential customers.

Mission Accomplished


The sick note concept launched Steelcase’s campaign in a fun way that really made people sit up in their office chairs and listen. In fact, when the email and direct marketing campaigns were unleashed in London and the North West, uptake of meetings and orders increased significantly. The campaigns even featured a competition to win a set of office chairs, which gave sales an extra boost.

"Montage created a remarkable cross media campaign which matched our ergonomic design range of chairs. The campaign was a great success increasing sales and awareness."


Dealer Marketing Manager

Our Secret Weapons:


So how did we achieve this? We did it using a number of weapons from our extensive arsenal.
  • Targeted research
  • Concept design
  • Creative ideas
  • Marketing expertise
  • Graphic design
  • Email design and layout
  • Direct marketing design and layout
  • Print