That article sure sums it up! As I implied on another thread, perception is everything on "The Street". As a retired UPSer who has held most of my stock I obviously believe UPS is the winner overall. The quiet brown behemoth it may be, but it's got my vote for the long haul.
When will we hire a decent ad agency? If we are going to advertise, we need some pizzazz!I guess we still haven't figured out that many shipping decisions are made at a low level. The bean counters don't look at commercials and decide to ship via UPS or FedEx, the shipping clerks and secretaries do! There are some great ad campaigns, one in particular I believe is for IBM systems, funny but makes a point. Even "Big Brown" isn't more stodgy than "Big Blue"! The logistics ads are quite boring. Again, no pizzazz. Very dissapointing. Alot more could be done with thirty to sixty seconds showing just how UPS can help a small, midsize or large company. A person just "standing there" and stating the UPS solved their problem begs the questions: What problem? HOW was it solved?
I think that this is not an apples to apples comparision. Most people are thinking FEDEX express business VS UPS whole business. If you recieve 2 express packages a week and 3 times a year it gets messed up then you get 10 ground and air packages a day from UPS and once a month there is a problem which is better???
UPS delivers many more "overnight" packages than FedEx, when you combine the zone 2 next day ground and the Next Day Air packages. UPS should advertise this fact and expose FedEx for their false claim of being the "premier carrier of overnight deliveries".
Outside the "Dale Race the Truck" UPS commercials are boring but they tell you about the company and the service. To me that makes sense but the problem is the public at large want to be entertained and this explains part of the reason the "Race the Truck" commercials are wildly popular. Everywhere you go when someone learns I work for UPS it's, "when is Dale gonna race that truck?" Even the FedEx commercials really don't tell you about the FedEx service as a whole but rather is usually some silly, catchy phrase that makes you think FedEx is good, the best, etc.
The sad fact is we live in a shallow, short atttention span world and UPS commercials just aren't geared towards that. UPS commercials are also geared towards entire companies and their decision makers but as "traveler" pointed out, it's not the CEO or some high level manager who makes that decision in many cases but the shipping clerk or even some admin. assist. I also think FedEx has grown in the Home Ground market because their entertaining commercials are geared to the general public at large. Looking at UPS commercials, I want to send my package to Grandma 3 states over but UPS handles shipments of goods in Ocean Containers and can get those anywhere, with tracking, money transfers, even financing so I guess they don't handle my package to grandma anymore. Guess I'll go FedEx ground or the USPS since I can chose either one at the same location.
Why this example? Because I've actually heard it on 6 different occassions over the last year or so. Perception! Perception! Perception! The UPS Store is a great tool that I think the ad folks don't realize and what they need is a comedic style commercial with a grandma type hitting the store to send out birthday, christmas, graduation, etc. gifts to the grandkids. Look at Wendy's and the "Where's the Beef?" deal many years ago.
Many still blame the 97' strike as the reason we are where we are and true this is a major player because it set the table for FedEx and they just invited themselves to dinner but America has a short memory and we're now nearly 6 years from that event so other factors have to be considered as a contributor. Wake up UPS and get where America lives and you just might start seeing the bleeding of ground to FedEx stop and even reverse! JMO.
MY kids, who are now all over 20, still quote 'besides, we like our planes clean' from the earliest 'tightest ship' commercials. I can assure you that they think our current campaign is truly brown stuff....but I agree, our current ads are targeted at executives, which is something we needed to do. Now if it said: 'WHat can BIG Brown do for you' it might deliver an entirely different message.
I agree, we need a new ad agency. The bean counters don't see the commercials, only the shipping clerks and secretaries. The commercials should be geared toward the clerks, and secretaries.
UPS needs to be more bullish in gaining public perception, while focusing on running the business. Time to get rid of "what can brown do for you". Say, "FREEKING SHIP UPS." The commercials have run their course.
In my opinion, most tv watchers don't have time to think-they are only fed. UPS commercials need to be made at the level of the average tv viewer. Feed them, don't make them think.
Sell the ad agency that we own, and buy a new, more creative one. Better yet, ask the many talented UPS employees for ideas.
I thought a good UPS commercial would of been one where a UPS driver drives up out of the water and onto the beach of a deserted island in a package car, where some guy (like Tom Hanks) is stranded, and hand delivers him a cell phone or something.
And then have somebody like James Earl Jones say something cool at the end like,
"THIS IS......UPS !!"