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Mail Boxes Etc., Ogilvy Issue a Holiday Warning

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Just in time for the holidays, Ogilvy & Mather has launched a TV spot for Mail Boxes Etc. that puts a whole new spin on the axiom "It's the thought that counts."

The 30-second spot uses humor to underscore the potential for holiday shipping disasters. It features a string of large boxes rolling on a conveyor belt in a factory decorated with holiday wreaths. The first box is embossed with the words "It's not the gift, it's the thought that counts." A second box appears, bearing the words "Unless it arrives broken. Then it's neither."

Ogilvy's Mindshare handles media buying on the estimated $25 million account. There will be accompanying print ads but no outdoor.

"We thought it was breakthrough. We thought it was a bit different," said Kurt Schusterman, svp of marketing for San Diego-based MBE.

Schusterman said the company is spending a good portion of its budget, about $6 million, on the spot, which is airing on networks in major markets such as Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta and Chicago.

Four more spots are being made available to individual MBE franchises nationwide. The tagline for all the spots is, "We'll take it from here."

The overall idea is that consumers who visit a Mail Boxes Etc. can sidestep the many hassles that come with sending gifts, said Greg Harrison, group creative director at the Los Angeles agency.

Harrison, who worked on the spots with former co-creative director Steve Chavez, who is now freelancing, said many consumers encounter problems when their holiday packages are handled through traditional delivery services such as UPS and the U.S. Mail.