Direct mail case study: Giving the Daruma new life

Boutique design studio MAAD Creatives decided to get creative with its red packets this year by blending three unique cultures together – Chinese culture, Japanese tradition and Merlions. Ahead of the Chinese New Year, the agency gave the red packet a secondary purpose by featuring a Daruma to set goals for 2020.

A Daruma is a Japanese doll that symbolises perseverance and good luck, customarily used as a gift of encouragement. Traditionally, the recipient paints one eye upon setting a goal, then the other upon attaining it. MAAD Creatives named its Daruma doll “MAADARUMA” and used it as an accompaniment for the Chinese Zodiac rat. MAADARUMA fulfils the same function of a Daruma doll, but instead of paint, a set of eye stickers were used to help consumers plan their goals.

The red packets were hand-illustrated and brought to life by creative director Max Chionh and his team. The custom illustration was contrasted with vintage glamour through the use of bronze paper, striking the balance between the cool, the cute, and the classy.

According to Chionh, the general response to the red packets was highly positive as MAAD Creatives received numerous compliments regarding the overall design. He added that many of the recipients were impressed by the illustrative approach on the cover juxtaposed against the bronze paper.

“But ultimately, most of them were delighted with the idea of giving the red packet a second purpose instead of ending up as trash,” he explained.

Ten winners were also selected via a Facebook contest held between 4-12 January to receive the red packets. According to Chionh, the contest had a reach of more than 13,000 people and over 1,600 engagements without the need to boost advertising spend.



Produced as a 2020 Lunar New Year gift exclusively for the agency’s clients.

Target audience

Clients of MAAD Creatives.


MAAD Creatives received many compliments from recipients.

The Facebook contest on
its page had a reach of more than 13,000 people and over 1,600 engagements without the need to boost advertising spend.


The writer is Max Chionh, creative director MAAD Creatives. The Direct Mail Case Study is brought to you by Marketing Magazine in association with SingPost.