Design Feature Series: Dick Johnson is Dead Custom Mailer for Netflix




October 19, 2021


Reading Time

After months of lockdown and no events in 2020, we started producing custom mailers as an alternative to our live experiential events business. In reality, there are a lot of parallels between the events world and custom gifting. Each is based on creativity and creating memorable experiences. 

So, we pivoted. And y’all, let me tell you, the world works in mysterious and wonderful ways—this has now become a major part of our business and we are loving it!

Soon after we started offering mailers, we were approached by Netflix to produce a mailer for their upcoming documentary Dick Johnson is Dead. Since events during the pandemic were not possible, studios were finding other ways to promote their films for awards—and we were so ready to be a part of the action.   

Dick Johnson is Dead – Custom Mailer by Savy Events

The Story & Inspiration 

Dick Johsnon is Dead is a documentary by filmmaker Kirsten Johnson in which she and her father stage his death in inventive and comical ways to help them both face the end of his life. It’s poignant and funny and heartwarming. 

The Design Process

Our process is twofold when designing custom mailers. We first work with the team to discover what they would like to include, but we also develop a design and concept from the media itself. 

One of the ways in which Dick Johnson “dies” in the documentary is by chocolate cake. Get it? Death by chocolate! So we thought it would be fun to send recipients some chocolate cake! In imagining how we could possibly send cake through the mail and still have it arrive in one piece—literally and figuratively—we decided to source a cake in a jar! Sending it this way ensured that the cake would stay fresh and not get smashed in the mail.

The Netflix team also wanted to include a fun “head on a stick” prop featuring Dick Johnson’s face to drive engagement on the ‘gram and Zoom. We produced a custom foam insert to hold the cake in a jar. The tasty treat was revealed when you lifted the fun cutout of Dick’s face. We took design elements from the film’s promotional material to create a super bright and fun mailer package that looked like a literal box of sunshine, much like Dick Johnson himself. 

The past year and a half has tested business owners everywhere, but especially events businesses. To be able to say that we have made lemonade out of sour lemons is a result of relentless hard work and unwavering grit in the midst of a pretty awful year for the world. We can’t wait to see what this new branch of our business brings!

Get in touch to learn how we can help design and produce your next press or promotional mailer!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

close X

Let's Bring Impact To Your Next 



Mailer Campaign

Event Production