ESPN conducted a direct marketing campaign in Asia in which they shipped out giant eyeballs in boxes (full image here). Recipients opened up the box, and BAM, there's a huge fucking eye staring at you. Maybe that seems creepy to us sane people, but according to the marketing team who put it together, it worked great. Very great.
This DM exercise resulted in achieving extremely positive reactions from the targeted media community and the awareness for the key statistics showed a very positive increase. It facilitated in creating a very favorable environment for the subsequent sales process.
You see, it's effective because sports use balls, and ESPN wants more eyes, and eyes are balls. Eyeballs. Eye-BALLS. Eye. Balls. Get it? It took some brazen outside-the-box thinking, but all that blood, sweat, and giant basketball tears were worth it.