Friday, April 11, 2008

UPS Whiteboard - What happened to you?

I was a huge fan of the UPS Whiteboard commercials when they came on the scene. They showed an "actor" (actually a Creative Director at The Martin Agency in Richmond) drawing fascinating little doodles on a dry-erase board that could somehow be partially erased or slightly manipulated in order to explain a B2B shipping task, like routing or freight.

These ads were so simple and yet so attention-grabbing. Maybe it was the quirky, long-haired artist, or the irony of using a song by The Postal Service to sell UPS shipping, but I found these ads catchy and couldn't watch them enough. Here's an example:

Unfortunately, at some point during March Madness, I saw that these Whiteboard commercials had adopted a new look. Before, all of the UPS capabilities were demonstrated in 2-D on a dry-erase board. Now, these ads use some sort of animated component in order to demonstrate the same messages as the older commercials, but in a slightly more complicated way. I'm curious to find what others think of about the renovated strategy. Here's one of the newer ads:

I wasn't even sick of the old ads yet, but I feel like The Martin Agency should have opted to execute more of the traditional-style ads but with different graphics and "lessons." If it were my decision, I would have opted for a new soundtrack... perhaps a different tune by The Postal Service, or even a new band all together that shares a similarly interesting yet soothing electronic quality.

Maybe UPS advocated for the new approach as opposed to vice versa. Either way, whenever I see one of the new commercials I am saddened that it isn't one of old.

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