The Mail Boxes Etc. chain of business service centers was founded in 1980 and steadily grew its presence until, in the mid-1990s, its footprint began to seem big enough to demand a big-game ad. “MBE now had enough franchises to be a national brand, and our recommendation was there was no better way to sit at the big table than to be on the Super Bowl,” said Rich Badami, then creative director at Mail Boxes Etc. agency Kenneth C. Smith Advertising, in an email to Ad Age years later. That put the chain up head-to-head with Kinko’s 1996 Super Bowl ad “Physiology,” but the marketing strategy was completely different.
Oscar Mayer, whose Wienermobile stops at Mail Boxes Etc. franchises around the country in this spot, was itself a Super Bowl advertiser (and halftime show sponsor) around the same time, with commercials in 1996 ("Talent Search") and 1997 ("The Auditions," "The Winner"). UPS would later buy Mail Boxes Etc., while FedEx would buy Kinko’s.
BRAND: Mail Boxes Etc.
AGENCY: Kenneth C. Smith Advertising
QUARTER AIRED: Q4