A posh sticker

Orange-Tape-DispenserAll the windows are closed. The lights are on a timer and the goldfish is at grandma’s. Ready to go on holiday. The only time of year you’ll find a NO/NO (anti-commercial) sticker on my letterbox. At first I made my own sticker-craft-project: a strip of paper with self-written and colored block letters. Nowadays I just download the official letterbox sticker and print it. Adhesive tape on all four sides and I can close my front door at ease. And easily open it again once I come back, unimpeded by piles of regional newspapers and advertising leaflets full of expired offers. Removing the glue residues is my only problem.

And although I openly confess to my love for doordrop media, I’ve also developed a secret love for the letterbox sticker. Its diversity fascinates me and its appearance to me is prophetic for the household behind it. The old hippy-couple with their first yellowed NO/NO sticker provided by an environmental organisation. The newly-weds who live like pigeons in big anonymous apartment buildings where sticker-sign boards can be slid to yes or no. The everlasting student with a funny sticker saying they don’t want any advertising leaflets because they already have everything they could wish for. And of course the good WASP-citizens with official letterbox stickers with their underlying regulated advertising code, picked up at the town hall or library.

This week I discovered a new gem in the world of letterboxes. In a ritzy interior shop for people owning swanky RangeRover and Prada a luxury range of door items caught my eye. Right next to a Riverdale ‘welcome-mat’ was… the posh sticker! In engraved steel for the minimalistic mansion, in glossy black enamel for the thatched farmhouse and in brass for the ‘old heirs aristocrats’ type of house. NO has never been said so opulently!

As I was philosophizing, I thought about the future of the letterbox sticker. Directly engraved in a copper customized letterbox valve that can be ordered online. Ones with digital lights that flash up in red or green when the postman drives along on his RFID bike. Or the valve that no longer needs a sticker, for it fails to open after visual detection of an unwanted pack of leaflets. The latter also offers opportunities. For the low-end pack the valve remains closed, while it opens widely for the high-end pack with Breitling watches, Ugg boots and Gucci pyjamas.

Every pot will find its sticker. Meanwhile I have therefore developed my own version: a magnetic strip that you can temporarily ‘stick on’ when you go on holiday. My crowdfunding leaflet for it will soon hit your doormat. That is… if you don’t have a letterbox sticker.

Marianne Robben, Independent strategist and columnist for HPG (www.hpgroup.nl)

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