Packaging | Design

We created an intriguing press mailer that turned recipients into investigators.

When announcing the latest season of The Hot Zone, Nat Geo needed to educate and excite the press about the newest installment, The Hot Zone: Anthrax. The new season follows the team of experts tracking down the culprit behind the anthrax letters in the wake of 9/11.

What’s the best way to excite the press about an unsolved mystery? By inviting them into the investigation.

We wanted to instill a sense of intrigue and suspense around the show, without being outwardly scary. It was also important to be respectful of the real-life events the show was based on.

We developed a mailer concept rooted in mystery; tapping into true crime trends, we invited recipients to seek answers to the case themselves. 

Members of the press were sent a locked box which could only be opened by using the show’s premiere date. Once unlocked, they were able to explore the case files and the secret clues, printed in UV ink – visible only by using the provided blacklight flashlight. The “special agents” were also invited to preview the show, included via petri dish USB.

The mailer included “special agent” badges, customized with each recipient’s name and photo, and was sent to over 500 members of the press. The box was shipped in a crime scene self-mailer, creating immediate intrigue for the recipients.