Notwithstanding all the breathless articles in business magazines, corporate life these days is not replete with high-wire excitement. At least, it isn't for the poor souls whose tasks include ordering (and reordering and reordering) office supplies. This ad, promoting a catalog of such goods, bonds with readers by tacitly acknowledging the same-old-same-old tedium endemic to their workaday routine. The joke is funny because it's plainly grounded in reality. Moreover, the subversive humor plausibly implies that dealing with Corporate Express might be pleasant. After all, they've got a sense of humor and—just as important—they realize you've got one, too. And if the catalog's array of name badges runs from pages 673 to 675 (as type at the top of the ad indicates), then Corporate Express must indeed have everything any office could ever need. It's a nice piece of copywriting synecdoche, helping us envision the vast whole by citing a single part.Agency
& Design, Boulder, Colo.
Corporate Express, Interlocken, Colo.