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.
PULLING A FAST ONE
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.
THIS COMMERCIAL’S FATAL FLAW
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.
KNOW THY CLIENT, KNOW THY AUDIENCE
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.