NOW FOR A QUICK ROUND OF "JEOPARDY!" This ad agency and its shipping client, in characteristically clever fashion, have proved their keen sense of comic timing yet again. If you guessed "Who are BBDO New York and FedEx?" you're in luck. Three days after software engineer and "Jeopardy!" phenom Ken Jennings ended his 74-show winning streak by asking "Who is FedEx?" the shipping company ran an ad in USA Today capitalizing on Jennings' error. The ad's headline reads: "There's only one time FedEx has ever been the wrong answer." The copy follows: "Congratulations Ken Jennings on your amazing Jeopardy! winning streak. And thanks for mentioning our name. Even if it was the one time you shouldn't have. For all the right answers to your shipping needs, go to fedex.com." The correct question to the answer that stumped Jennings-"Most of this firm's 70,000 seasonal white-collar employees work only four months a year"-was "Who is H&R Block?" Now, if we were going to be obnoxious, we would point out that in this case, FedEx was technically the wrong question, not the wrong answer. But we like the ad so much we'll hold our tongue.
SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO THROW YOUR OWN PARTY, especially if it's for your 331/3 anniversary. Last month, Wichita, Kan.-based advertising agency Sullivan Higdon & Sink celebrated that anniversary-the agency was founded in July 1971-by operating its own radio station for 331/3 hours starting on Nov. 15. Broadcasting from WSHS radio on 103.3 FM, SHS chose to play only one song continuously, without commercial interruption: "Get it On," the T. Rex hit from the "Electric Warrior" 331/3 rpm LP, released in 1971. The whole process was fairly simple and inexpensive, according to Lathi de Silva, corporate communications manager for SHS. Because the broadcast was noncommercial in nature, it didn't require a license. SHS simply purchased a transmitter for about $500, installed it on the agency's roof and, voila, everyone within a 3/4-mile radius of the agency could tune in. De Silva credited SHS VP-Creative Director John January with the idea. Each year, January hosts a Halloween party for about 350 people and transforms his home into a haunted house. For the two weeks preceding Halloween, he broadcasts details about the event on his own radio station. As for the song choice, "[SHS Managing Partner] Joe Norris is a huge music fan and just went back to the archives and decided he needed something that was memorable but also slightly annoying," de Silva said.