New Ads: UPS Store Is for More Than Just Shipping

Doner's Unique Campaign Creates World Out of Cardboard

By Published on .

CHICAGO ( -- Frustrated that consumers have been slow to realize it handles more than shipping, the UPS Store created a cardboard world to help it, um, get outside the box.

UPS ad

UPS Store's most recent campaign touts its various services beyond shipping.
A new campaign from independent Southfield, Mich.-based Doner Advertising that will break next week features elaborate cardboard landscapes populated by cardboard people. It's a dramatic break from the more traditional work the UPS Store has used since rebranding itself from Mail Boxes Etc. in 2003.

The most recent campaign touting its various services showed consumers in the store, with Stevie Wonder's "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing" as its soundtrack. That work generally met sales targets, said Tom Crockett, the UPS Store's VP-worldwide sales and marketing, but it hasn't changed the perception of the store -- which offers printing, copying, office supplies and other business services -- as a shipping-only outlet.

Research showed that even some of the store's most frequent customers were oblivious to its non-shipping offerings. "It was a good campaign ... but it didn't connect with the fact that we do more than shipping," Mr. Crockett said. "This is an idea that, when we saw it, we immediately jumped on it, because its going to give us a lot of flexibility, and its going to cut through all the clutter that's out there."

Creative stands out
There certainly isn't much work, if any, out there that looks much like the campaign's first TV spot, called "Coliseum." It features a cardboard small-business owner warring with a cardboard lion in what appears to be a cardboard replica of the Roman Coliseum.

The business owner fights off the lion with the help of the UPS Store, which arms him with documents and other supplies. At one point, he smacks the lion on the head with a rolled up presentation, and the resulting hollow sound is that of a cardboard paper-towel tube hitting a cardboard box, and when the lion roars, the sound heard is cardboard tearing, said Doner VP-Creative Director Jimmy Kollin.

On one level, creating a world full of cardboard seems an odd choice for a marketer trying to show there is more to its existence than shipping, but Doner executives said that was the point. "We wanted to use the thing that they're best known for to promote the things that people don't know we do," Mr. Kollin said. "There's really nothing we can't do in cardboard, so what was the limiter becomes limitless."

The campaign will run on TV, on radio, in magazines and online; spending wasn't disclosed.

Sound on the spots was produced by Elias Artists, Santa Monica, Calif., and the computer-generated effects in the TV and online spots were done by Psyop, New York.

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