What do you carve on your Halloween pumpkin – a happy, scary or sad face, or you’re really not sure exactly what you’ve carved? I’m old school and have always gone with the triangle eyes, nose and teeth. However, last year Kathie wanted something fancy and purchased one of those elaborate designs. I felt like da Vinci carving my scary witch. While admiring my pumpkin, I realized direct marketing was at work in this process. My audience was the neighborhood kids; the offer was candy; and the package was a pumpkin designed to give them a little scare. When designing your website, direct mail or social media, ask yourself “Who is my audience, what offer will connect with my audience, and does the package communicate my message?” If you’re a pest control company, does your website give customers a scare by showing pictures of spiders, rats, snakes and other foul creatures or give them a sense of comfort by showing children playing happily in their pest-free home? Or if you’re a humane society, do you use a picture of puppies or a mangy dog in your direct mail fundraising? In both examples, the look you select will create a different emotion. Snakes give some people the willies while children playing might evoke a feeling of safety. A mangy dog may evoke sadness, while puppies could cause you to laugh. Does your creative convey the feeling and message you want? How about your pumpkin?