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Advertising Humor: The Creative Formula Behind FedEx Marketing Success

Advertising Humor: The Creative Formula Behind FedEx Marketing Success

Hi I’m Graeme Newell. Today, the hidden tactics
behind some of FedEx’s most popular ads. FedEx’s Caveman ad was a Superbowl Favorite.
Why did it work so well? Like so many other FedEx ads, it follows the popular ad formula
of the flawed solution. Here are the simple steps to the flawed solution
formula. Step One, point out one of your customer’s
biggest problems. Step Two, offer up a completely ridiculous
solution. The crazier the better. Watch how they did it in this spot.
“Well he’s a jolly good fellow, we need we need to finish those projections. And I’ll
put the final presentation, Sally I’m gonna need 40 copies obviously collated. What’s
going on? When we’re crunched for time Brad combines office celebrations with office business.
It’s about efficiency.” Now it’s time for step three, the product
pitch. Your smart solution gets the job done. “It’s about efficiency. We can help. When
you ship with FedEx you can work right up until the last minute, gives you more time
to get stuff done. That’s a good idea. And I need to speak with you privately, I found
your resume in the printer. Everyone! I found your resume in the printer. We understand,
you need a partner who gives you more time. FedEx.”
“What are they doing? I believe they’re playing bear-hunter-ninja, sir.”
FedEx’s genius is that they take the flawed solution one better. That ridiculous solution
in step two isn’t just random wackiness. “What the heck is that? These have to get
to Houston. Good gravy man, if we don’t get them all there by 8 am tomorrow we’re all,
doomed. Doomed! I’ll put it in a FedEx box and print out a label. Hurry man, or we’re
all doomed. Doomed!” FedEx always ridicules one of its core customer’s
greatest real-world frustrations – flawed office logic.
“Carol, when you replaced casual Friday with Nordic Tuesday, was it really for fun, or
to save money on heat? Why, don’t you think Nordic Tuesday’s fun? Oh no, it’s fun. You
know if you’re trying to cut costs FedEx can help. We’ve got express options, fast, ground
and freight options. You could save money and keep the heat on. Great idea. That is
a great idea. Well, if Nordic Tuesday wasn’t so much fun. We understand, you need to save
money. FedEx.” We’ve all been there. Everyone knows the new
office policy is crazy, but still, everyone’s expected to plaster on a smile and play along.
So take a lesson from an ad comedy master like FedEx. The flawed solution formula gives
them a double barrel shot of customer connection. A very practical solution to a problem, and
a very sarcastic jab at a big customer frustration. I’m Graeme Newell and that’s
emotional marketing.

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