Small Business Marketing Challenges Inspire The UPS Store Campaign

Spots Show How Lack of Marketing Materials Affects Sales

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The UPS Store is rolling out new TV ads this week aimed at small business owners, which show what can happen if businesses do not do a good job marketing to customers.

The ads, created by Ogilvy and Mather, are an extension of The UPS Store's "What's Your Story?" campaign, which launched in March.

"The pain point of how small business owners market themselves properly or go out and tell their story kept coming up in our research," said Karen Kelly, director of marketing and advertising for The UPS Store. "With the new ads, we are trying to elevate that pain point and tell the story of how to solve for that problem by using The UPS Store."

In one spot, called "Not So Grand Opening," small businesses including a bakery, barber shop and online design store have grand openings, but no customers come.

"It's not enough to just open your doors and wait for people to come in -- you have to market your business," Ms. Kelly said. "The UPS Store can help small businesses get all their marketing needs met, from packaging and shipping to printing and mailboxes."

In another ad, called "Marketing is Hard," small businesses are met with challenges because they don't have the right marketing programs and materials. A sign-spinner knocks over a pedestrian, a plumber doesn't have any business cards so he writes his phone number on a customer's hand, and a phone customer doesn't believe the business owner when she gives out her P.O. box as a business address.

In a third spot, called "That Place," a retail location keeps changing businesses -- from a pizza parlor to a nail salon to a day care -- because the business owners didn't know how to market properly.

"We did the spots with genuine humor that people can really relate to, so they are very engaging," Ms. Kelly said.

The ads are breaking this week on cable channels including AMC, CNBC, CNN, TNT and USA. They will also run in September on prime-time network TV shows including "The Voice" on NBC and "How to Get Away with Murder" on ABC.

Print ads will begin running in October in publications including "Entrepreneur" and "Inc."

The campaign budget was undisclosed.

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