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Draft Giving Postal Service Heart

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Ads Seek to Emphasize Emotional Ties Between Sender, Carrier
CHICAGO-Amid planned marketing budget cuts and a potential review for at least one portion of its account, the U.S. Postal Service is unveiling a new general branding TV campaign from DraftWorldwide here.
The work, tagged "Celebrating life's relationships," attempts to "create an emotional bond between the Postal Service and residents," said Alicia Howington Ziegler, Draft senior vice president and associate managing director.
"It's a strategic departure from anything that has run recently," Ziegler said.
Draft handles advertising for the USPS' residential mail and stamp issues, covering consumer work and promotions in addition to direct mail, Ziegler said.
The first TV spot breaks nationally this week on network and cable. Dubbed "Blue Elephant," it shows a woman coming upon a figurine that reminds her of one she broke as a child. Her grandmother comforted her through that travail, and so the woman thoughtfully buys the figurine and sends it to her grandmother through the post.
A second spot due later this spring shows a man crying over a letter from his daughter in which she writes things about her feelings for him she's never been able to say in person.
Extensions of the campaign are expected this fall.
The work doesn't tout specific USPS features, but attempts to convey what the government's mail system means in people's lives, Ziegler said. She said the public still has a soft spot for the mail system even though they often griping about it.
"People moan and groan about the post office but they love their mailman," she said.
The USPS' contract with Draft runs through September 2000, as do those with Foote, Cone & Belding, New York, whose duties include U.S. Priority Mail, and Frankel in Chicago, which handles internal communications and post office promotions.
Young & Rubicam's contract expires this September, and the USPS is considering a review that could involve restructuring the agency setup. Y&R handles media buying for the client. ƒ