TV Commercial Fail: FedEx “Auto Repair Shop”. Tim Burt Critiques

When you absolutely, positively have to have a misguided, lame advertisement….watch this 2011 commercial for FedEx:

The first time I saw this my initial reaction was it was for Google or another search engine company.


When the “shop owner” on the phone answers with “AAAAAAAAAAAA (etc)”, the logical assumption the business is named that way is to be at the head of a search.

The worker questions the owner, who confirms this, but it’s for the phone book.

He then explains that FedEx can get their business ahead by shipping auto parts from all over the world, get them through Customs, and therefore they can fix cars quicker.

That is an incredibly weak and misguided correlation.


A key technique in any good advertisement is “unexpectedness”.

However, when the audience is so misled by the setup that the message is lost…you end up with confusion.

In all honesty, the only thing I really recall from this ad is the “owner” saying “AAAAA (etc)”.

The assertion through the core message that FedEx can ship auto parts from all over the world is completely lost in the not-so-veiled attempt at humor. Especially when the “owner” repeats the name of the shop again before the smash-cut to the FedEx graphic.


You could replace the “worker’s” dialogue with just about anything about FedEx and this commercial would be just as ineffective.

When the script has an interchangeable “hole”, the entire story falls apart.


Now, let’s assume for a moment this was an advertisement for Google, AOL, Yahoo, etc.

This commercial would make much more sense if the worker said something such as, “our business wouldn’t have to have such a ridiculous name to be at the top of an online search. With SEO and Google’s help, we could call ourselves just about whatever we want”.

But, I’m sure the geniuses at FedEx laughed themselves silly with the “AAAAA…” line.


About timburtmedia

30,000+ ads globally. Commercial Advertising Marketing - world-wide audio producer, voice-over talent, copywriter.
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3 Responses to TV Commercial Fail: FedEx “Auto Repair Shop”. Tim Burt Critiques

  1. Jim Tharp says:

    This commericial is the very best I heard in such a long time! Go FED X!!

  2. brian says:

    I see where you are coming from and agree, all i rmember is aaaaaa….and fedex, but i dont think the creators care. They just want the fedex name associated with something funny/unique. I agree the filler could be replaced with anything, but i think the creators of the ad will grant you that as well. I thought this was hilarious. And i love when a company will take a risk with something so absurd. see the commercial->laugh->repeat…when i need shipping stuff i remember how spot made me feel and go to website for details-not remember them from spot…

    – B

  3. firefighter2057 says:

    The commercial works on two levels: first because of the humor. It grabs people’s short attention long enough to make the simple association of humourous concept to FEDEX. It’s funny and when it comes on, you can enjoy it. Secondly because of the actual message, simple as it is, and anyone who follows the dialogue long enough to actually listen to the reasons why FEDEX can help could probably care less about the weak correlation. It’s an effective commercial.

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