FedEx has begun a global ad campaign touting its reliability and expertise in helping consumers navigate a fast-changing economic landscape, a move that comes as the package shipping industry faces weaker sales brought on by the recession.
FedEx and its competitor -- UPS, the world's largest package shipper -- have battled recent earnings slumps as tight-fisted consumers and businesses cut back on spending. The former reported an earnings drop of 53 percent for its most recent quarter, while UPS saw a 43 percent quarterly decrease.
The new campaign, dubbed "FedEx delivers to a changing world," aims to counter weak sales by appealing to C-suite and senior-level business executives, as well as small business owners, in various global markets. The overall goal is to remind consumers that despite tough economic times, FedEx remains a reliable business partner.
The New York and Manila, Philippines, offices of Omnicom's BBDO created the global effort. Omnicom's OMD handled media buying.
The push includes print and online media buys in publications like The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Newsweek, Time, The Economist and Forbes. Digital ads are running on CNN.com, BBC.com and Reuters.com.
One print ad touts FedEx's commitment to reliable yet cost effective international shipments. "The economy is up. Your delivery costs don't have to follow," the ad reads, adding, in smaller script, that FedEx International Economy allows users to "save money without compromising on quality and reliability" with "less time-sensitive shipments."
The campaign is running in "high potential growth markets" like the U.K., Germany, South Korea, Japan, Brazil and China. Each region will roll out subsequent executions over the next six months, with the bulk coinciding with high levels of business activity, said Emma Armstrong, senior director on the FedEx account at BBDO, New York.
Raj Subramaniam, svp, international marketing for FedEx Services, said the insight for the current campaign stemmed from research that showed that the global economic recession is exerting pressure on small and large businesses. The company found that regardless of where customers are located, they expressed a common need to "turn to a partner they can trust and rely upon," Subramaniam said.
Thus, in this age of economic distress, the new FedEx "Delivers to a changing world" campaign reinforces that "one of the constants in this world is FedEx," he said.
Added BBDO's Armstrong: "No matter if you're running a huge government department, an NGO or a small business," the global economic recession has exerted pressures on all businesses, and people are "looking for ways to survive and still thrive in this economy."
Though No. 1 in the U.S., FedEx is the challenger brand in many overseas markets. In targeting non-U.S. regions like Brazil and India, FedEx is also trying to broaden is global reach, Subramaniam said.
FedEx spent $104 million in U.S. measured media expenditures in 2008, excluding online, per Nielsen. Through August, FedEx's domestic spend was $56 million.
UPS this week chose WPP's Ogilvy and Maxus to handle its $200 million global account.