FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service received a special delivery last year they weren't expecting: new competition. DHL, a global player with only a niche presence in the U.S., raced onto the scene with a $100 million-plus campaign, a fleet of trucks clad in yellow and red, and the energy of a challenger brand looking to make a lot of noise.
Now, DHL is embarking on a four-month, $50 million campaign claiming superior customer service. Breaking this week, DHL's ads, created by Ogilvy & Mather, New York, will embrace the theme, "Customer service is back in shipping."
The debut spot offers a slapstick view of customer service across an array of categories. Played out to the strains of Burt Bacharach's "What the World Needs Now," we see store clerks ignoring their customers, a waiter walking by hungry diners, a valet bending fenders and a flight attendant hitting passengers on the head, à la The Three Stooges. "Whatever happened to customer service?" asks a voiceover. "At DHL, it's alive and well. Call us and see how we're changing the way the shipping business does business." The campaign also includes print, outdoor, online and direct mail.
"Last year we wanted people to understand that we were here and that we were a new choice in ... shipping," said Karen Jones, vp-advertising, brand and promotions at DHL, Plantation, Fla. "Then the task was coming up with a unique and different message to tell the world why they should choose DHL."
With the holidays approaching, DHL's competitors also are launching ads. FedEx last week broke four NFL-themed spots from BBDO, New York, with such messages as,"Reliability for less than you think," and UPS this week unveils radio creative from The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va.