I recently had the privilege of hearing Steve Pacheco, the Director of Advertising & Marketing for FedEx, speak about the FedEx brand. Impressive. Entertaining. Insightful.
First, it’s important you know I was with the American Advertising Federation Seventh District and attending a spring convention of around 200 people in Mobile, AL. It was also during some major international air travel concerns in the Iceland area due to volcanic eruptions and the subsequent poor flying conditions. Hundreds of flights were being delayed or canceled. To say this affects FedEx worldwide shipping is an understatement.
Yet Steve Pacheco stayed true to his commitment to our little convention and his 45 minute speaking engagement. That’s cool. He’s a class act.
His message was to tell the story of the FedEx brand. Most of us are pretty familiar with its history starting with one of the more popular product pitch lines of all time (when it absolutely positively has to be there overnight). Interestingly, every marketing example he showed absolutely positively fulfilled that message. He showed some of the more popular and recent TV commercials. Check out the FedEx YouTube channel
. It’s quite entertaining. It’s also worth noting how many videos are posted that were never intended for TV broadcast. They receive hundreds of thousands of views through social media, an intentional strategy.
He also spent a while talking about the greatest brand-product endorsement ever – the movie Castaway. A movie featuring Oscar winner Tom Hanks about your company’s brand promise? Are you kidding me? And the blockbuster film concludes with the package being delivered. Unbelievable.
As a life-long ad agency dude, here’s what I admired most from Mr. Pacheco. He went out of his way to recognize BBDO, the ad agency of records for FedEx for the past 20 years. He basically said the success of the FedEx brand was a team effort and that BBDO was instrumental in this partnership. FedEx actually flew about 20 or so BBDO employees to their offices in Memphis for a FedEx-BBDO 20 year marriage party. That’s cool. Give me a client relationship like that one.
Since I am a BBDO alumnus, I went up to him afterwards to mention how cool I thought it was that he gave a shout-out to his agency like that. He said, “You know, sometimes I am probably a difficult client, but at the end of the day we all do really good work. They’ve (BBDO) done a lot for us and it’s helped made us who we are.”
Sounds like an agency-client relationship that keeps each other sharp. No push overs. No order takers. Just mutual respect and one shared goal of doping outstanding work.