The only thing weirder than Paul Giamatti playing John Adams is that the Postal Service is using the miniseries to extol the virtues of letterwriting:
HBO and the Postal Service are joining forces for the first time to co-sponsor a multimillion-dollar multimedia campaign that is intended to evoke the pleasures of sitting right down and writing yourself — or anyone — a letter.
The campaign promotes “John Adams,” a seven-part mini-series scheduled to begin on the cable network on Sunday. The campaign includes television, print, online, retail and promotional elements.
The campaign, by the Civic Entertainment Group in New York, seeks to demonstrate what it calls the “power of the letter,” which is also the U.R.L. for a special Postal Service Web site that is a central element of the campaign (thepoweroftheletter.com).
The Web site is the work of AKQA, which was recently named digital agency of the year by the trade publication Adweek. A Web site from HBO devoted to the mini-series (johnadams08.com) also directs visitors to the Postal Service’s letter site.
The campaign also appears on the main Postal Service Web site (usps.com) as well as on placards and posters in post offices around the country.
Even the cancellation marks on envelopes and the sales receipts given by postal employees carry the address of the special Web site, along with a quotation from Adams: “Let us dare to read, think, speak and write.”
For those of you worried that the cost of the campaign — estimated at $5 million to $10 million — may be a reason that the Postal Service will soon raise the price of a first-class stamp, fear not. HBO, part of Time Warner, is paying the bill.