Quick, name the last piece of mail you were excited to open. It’s hard, right? Unless you’re a DVD Netflix subscriber.
For the past 20 years, movie lovers across America have genuinely looked forward to getting their movies in the mail. The truth is, the iconic red envelope is one of the last pieces of mail on Earth that we actually look forward to receiving. But reaching that level of post office supremacy didn’t happen overnight.
Evolution of the Envelope
In the beginning, the red envelope wasn’t even red. It was white! It took a while for the team at DVD Netflix to perfect the envelope’s size, shape, and color to optimize delivery for the U.S. postal service.
The first envelope was made out of cardboard and weighed nearly one ounce. A far cry from the mailer we’ve come to know and love.
In 2000, the color switched to yellow before finally settling on the iconic red in 2001. In that same year, DVD Netflix experimented with plastic, but quickly realized paper was the way to go because of environmental concerns.
In 2003, bar codes were added to make sorting and the return process easier. From that moment on, the red envelope has become a fixture in our hearts, mailboxes, and living rooms.
Over the years, the envelopes have become much more than a vehicle for delivering movies to members. They’ve become collaborative works of art, helping DVD Netflix communicate and engage with members on holidays and special occasions.
The whole idea of printing designs on mailers was inspired by Netflix receiving return envelopes back in the mail covered in fans' graffiti-style artistic doodles.
These little bursts of creativity gave Netflix the idea to start illustrating its own mailers for the major holidays....
Fourth of July
In 2016, DVD Netflix held its first fan art contest to see who would design the envelopes for Halloween. The results were pretty amazing.
Where will the red envelope go next? Who knows! What we do know is that we never would have gotten to this point were it not for your help and inspiration. Thank you for your love of movies, your creativity, and your continued dedication to DVD Netflix.
Head to dvd.com/20years for more 20th anniversary fun facts and videos!