Here’s the FedEx commercial:

In a long line of effective Super Bowl ads, the FedEx ad agency of BBDO/New York (19 years and running for FedEx!) has produced another great ad:

1. HUMOR: This is probably the most common element among all the ads, but it works. It’s probably what has made the Super Bowl ads so famous (when is there ever such a buzz about commercials?) The shot of the smaller Cleveland-bound pigeon “equipped with GPS and night-vision” was hysterical.

2. PROBLEM IDENTIFIED: With a little exaggeration, the clerk is showing off his solution to the obvious chaos in the mail department of this company. The problem is then posed by the presumed company president, “what about the big stuff?” This is likely an issue alot of companies have…they may use FedEx for smaller packages, but think of other carriers for large shipments.

3. CURRENT SOLUTION EXPOSED: With the help of some exaggerated enormous carrier pigeons, we are shown the disastrous work of these birds with “the big stuff”. The one dropped package sets off a chain of horrifying events that triple the chaos!

4. NEW SOLUTION PROPOSED: Alot of times, ads will mention their product names early on or in the middle but fail to capture that final word: FedEx scores big with the company president’s directive: “Let’s switch to FedEx.” Brilliant. (I think it’s a nice touch, too, that it is the clerk’s very own car that comes crashing into the top-floor suite…evidenced by the clerk turning off the car alarm…funny.)

John Jantsch, creator and founder of the Duct Tape Marketing system, defines marketing this way:


At the heart of the Duct Tape Marketing system is this principle…and I believe this FedEx ad demonstrates the first part of this definition. In your own marketing (minus the 3 million dollar budget), consider ways to identify clearly the problem you know your clients have…even using exaggeration to make your point. Try and show the depths of your understanding by not just identifying the quantifiable problem, but the emotional problems, too (how this problem causes anger, frustration, sadness, confusion). This is where you grab the client’s attention.

Without going too negative on the competition (most small business owners I talk to are not really into getting into a war with their competitors)…you can identify differences. Or you can try and demonstrate (again with the help of exaggeration) the reasons why the client’s current solution is not a good buy (most likely you will need to focus on your client’s frustration with their ROI).

Then you have to be prepared to present with clarity why YOU are the true answer to the client’s problem. FedEx doesn’t get to do this in a 45-second spot, but this will come as they deliver on their promise (no pun intended). Getting people to know you (and understand why YOU are the true solution to their problem) is a huge first step…the “like” and “trust” part are significant elements of your marketing as well and the Duct Tape Marketing system can help you understand how to do this. A great marketing system helps put you on a path toward success…and a good marketing coach can help you get it done. I am a Duct Tape Marketing authorized coach and would love to help you implement this success!