DHL Takes Aim at Rivals

NEW YORK DHL breaks a $150 million campaign today that takes aim at its key competitors in the overnight shipping business.

The ads unveil a new theme for the company, positioning DHL, which has grown of late through acqusitions, as providing a “Whole new choice” in terms of express shipping. The new tagline is: “Competition. Bad for them. Great for you.”

In the first spot, “Cargo Train,” FedEx and UPS trucks stop at a railroad crossing as the safety gates come down. A DHL train speeds by, carrying a vast number of DHL vehicles. Two other similarly themed spots, “Race” and “Vacation,” will start airing in the next two weeks.

The effort, crafted by WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather and guided by agency co-creative director David Apicella, will run across all major media, including network and cable TV, for the next six months, according to Dick Metzler, executive vice president of marketing at DHL.

“The campaign really plays off the flexibility we can now offer customers,” Metzler said.

According to Metzler, DHL has less than 10 percent market share, while competitors UPS and FedEx, are a virtual duopoly with 75 percent market share.

DHL will spend $150 million in the next six months on above and below-the-line marketing efforts, Metzler said. The company spent about $20 million on ads last year, per TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

New York-based Ogilvy & Mather has held the account since last year in the U.S. and also produces some global work for the client.