Those of us who have been in the advertising industry for a number of years know the many things that stand in the way of great advertising. Often, poor strategic direction or an undisciplined creative brief is at fault. And more often than I’d like, it is simply a case of creative people who themselves don’t understand how to be strategic, engaging and memorable all at the same time.
But often, the blame is heaped on a client, for not recognizing a good creative concept, or for failing to have the courage to embrace advertising that does what ALL advertising SHOULD do – stand out. This year, I’d like to pay homage to one client that, for as long as I can remember, has not only tolerated, but apparently insisted on, memorable advertising; campaigns that not only carry the right strategic message, but also present it in a way that gets noticed. Thanks, FedEx, and credit to you, BBDO – the agency of record for 20 years or more.
When I first entered the business, FedEx and agency Ally and Gargano were doing great commercials, some with a director named Joe Sedelmaier who was known for ‘over the top” productions, most often humorous. (You’ve laughed at many of them, trust me.) For FedEx, fast-talker John Moschitta starred in an early spot you may recall.
Ever since, FedEx has kept the bar high, with many commercials you would remember and laugh at today! In one of the latest, FedEx Office promotes its printing and copying services by making it simple for a guy in the witness protection program to become a very visible icon for his hardware store. He’s a bit unclear on the concept, of course, but it’s very funny stuff.
A lot happens at a company in 20 or 30 years, including many changes of the guard, new CMOs and other transitions. But in the case of FedEx, the company has never lost its commitment to unique, watchable advertising campaigns. Oh, the tag lines haven’t always been much to write home about. But the quality is consistently high, with very few turkeys.
Thanks, FedEx (and your agencies) – keep up the good work.