Chase Manhattan Bank is testing some unusual packaging to promote its home equity loans. In an effort to get people to open the promotion rather than tossing an envelope into the wastebasket, the giant bank is sending out literature in clear plastic tubes.

The tubes, 9.5 inches long and three inches in diameter, are meant to pique consumer curiosity -- at least enough to make people look inside.

"You don't receive a tube in the mail every day," said James Dellavilla, vice president and manager of direct marketing.

"Getting people into packages is as critical as anything else to getting responses," he added.

To head off any concerns from environmentalists, Chase made sure the tubes were made of material that could be recycled. "I think we're in pretty good shape there," Mr. Dellavilla said.

The tubes went out to a select group of existing customers in New York state, he said, adding that it was too early to assess the results.

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