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UPS Shoots for Small Business Customers During March Madness

Campaign Shows How the UPS Store Can Help Businesses Tell Their Stories

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The UPS Store will roll out an integrated campaign during the NCAA "March Madness" basketball tournament, designed to show small businesses how it can help them tell their stories through its marketing services.

The campaign, called "What's Your Story?," was created by agencies Ogilvy & Mather and Doner, and includes TV, print and online ads. The budget was undisclosed.

"The objective of the campaign is to further develop our relationship with small business customers -- particularly really small business customers who may not be aware of the great print services we offer at The UPS Store," said Karen Kelly, director of marketing and advertising for The UPS Store. "We want to raise awareness of how we can help them market their businesses through the print services we offer."

The UPS Store campaign is part of UPS' overall platform "United Problem Solvers." In 2012, The UPS Store rebranded with an effort to reach small business customers.

"We have done extensive research with small business customers, and we have a small business online community called Small Biz Buzz," Ms. Kelly said. "What we've learned from them is that while they love owning a small business and the freedom of being a small business owner, they have a lot of hats to wear. One of their pain points is marketing -- they don't know where to get started."

A TV spot, which will run during the March Madness tournament, features an actual UPS Store customer named Carly, who needs help building her catering business. The ad tells the story of the relationship between Carly and a UPS Store franchise owner named Gloriana.

"The TV spot tells the story of a real customer and their real experience using the UPS Store -- it is so authentic, and there is a relationship there that was developed over time and has grown as Carly has grown her business," Ms. Kelly said.

She said "March Madness" is a good platform for the TV campaign because "small business customers are a tremendous audience during the tournament."

The TV spots will air on CBS and TBS during the NCAA basketball tournament. They will also run on NBC, ABC and various cable programs, including AMC's "The Walking Dead."

The campaign also includes print ads, which are running in publications targeting small businesses, including Entrepreneur and Inc.

The prints ads show a variety of blank printed products UPS offers, from envelopes to business cards to boxes, inviting small businesses to tell their own story. One ad reads, "Your business has a story. We have everything you need to tell it."

"Your story is told through the things you print," Ms. Kelly said. "These were purposely left blank to communicate the idea that you can tell your story on blank pages and blank envelopes. The hope is that small business customers can envision themselves there and see that we are a great resource for printing services."

The campaign also includes online ads and social media.

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