Simon King: Why The UPS Olympics Campaign Delivers Me Sadness

One of the original members of the PSFK team shares his thoughts on a new marketing gimmick from the delivery company.

Imagine my happiness when I receive a parcel from UPS (Delivered by the Royal Mail!).  The delivery giant had sent me a box with a picture of the Olympic stadium on the front.  What could be inside?  Perhaps tickets for the opening ceremony, an Olympic mascot keychain–certainly something interesting.  My excitement is heightened when I find another box inside,  eagerly I pull it out and open it.  Its empty.   A mistake, an error at the packaging factory?  Then I see the text “Without logistics the Olympic Stadium would be this empty.”   It’s a joke. A joke on me….

UPS have played a joke on me.  They have wound be up tricking me into expecting a gift and they’ve left me with nothing.  Just a hollow feeling when the gift should have been.  I feel incomplete.  Then this hollow space inside me is suddenly filled.

Its filled with red hot boiling over rage that UPS would:

1.       Take the piss out of me.

2.       Ship god knows how many of these empty boxes around the planet causing pointless damage to the environment.

3.       Use such a lame marketing gimmick to support what I thought was the best delivery service on the planet.  (Speaking as an account holder).

What’s more incredible is that UPS could be so out of sync with how to deliver such an important message to their business customers.  Their investment in Olympic Sponsorship is a seven figure bill and these tactical supportative campaigns should be used to maximize the impact of that investment, not so wholly detract from it.  Take this idea and execute it digitally then I don’t think any of us would mind being wound up a bit, but as a UPS customer in the real world I just can’t help thinking of UPS shipping lots of pointless empty Olympic gift boxes around the planet. What’s more because of the format used (everyone always remembers presents after all we normally only get them twice a year!) I will never forget this.

Congratulations UPS on a campaign which left me feeling as empty as the box you sent to me.

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