TV campaign

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Agency: BBDO New York

Small business is serious stuff, but sometimes it's downright comic, says Steve Pacheco, director of advertising for FedEx. In a campaign to launch the FedEx Kinko's Office and Print Centers, the company used a series of hilarious slices of small-business life.

The best of this BtoB Best lot was a spot titled "Luggage," in which a man and a woman await their luggage at an airport carousel. Tumbling haplessly on to the carousel is a series of office equipment such as a fax machine, a printer, even a massive multifunction printer. As the man frantically tries to collect the equipment, the woman pitches him the idea that they could simply go to FedEx Kinko's. "They've got copying, printing, shipping-all the latest technology."

The spot, like all of the others in the campaign, was wonderfully wry and perfectly cast to deliver a key point.

"We have found that if you deliver news in an entertaining fashion, people will retain it," Pacheco said. "Comedy is universal. It will always be a part of FedEx's DNA."

FedEx has a rich heritage of humor in advertising, Pacheco noted. Not only does humor help make a key point more memorable, he said, but it says a lot about FedEx's sense of self-confidence.

"We're not afraid to have a laugh at our own expense," Pacheco said. The BtoB Best judges appreciated the company's sense of humor and humility. Advertisers that come off as pompous and self-important send a clear message to the marketplace that they are more focused on their own success than on their customers.

In another spot from the theater of the absurd, this one titled "Cramped," more than a dozen people are shoe-horned into a space no larger than a couple of cubicles. To reach a ringing phone, a man literally crawls over the top of his co-workers only to fall through them to the floor. Most of the spots were inspired by research into customers who shared some of the problems they have in running a small business.

Pacheco said the campaign's tagline: "Make it. Print it. Pack it. Ship it. Our office is your office" is designed to remind the target audience that FedEx Kinko's is a one-stop-shop solution to their problems.

"The response to the spots has been overwhelmingly positive," Pacheco said. The target audience of small-business owners is now aware that there are about 1,200 FedEx Kinko's outfitted with all the latest technology, he added. M

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