How to waste 100,000 billboards

I will start with a confession – I don’t actually know how many trucks UPS has in its fleet (let me know if you have some hard data!). But it’s a lot, and IMHO, it’s a disgracefully wasted branding and marketing resource.

How many times in a given week do you see one of the famous brown UPS trucks? Plenty, I’d imagine. But now, ask yourself this: When you see the phrase “Worldwide Services” attached to that logo, what does that mean to you? How non-specific can a company be?

Yes, I know that UPS wants to be seen as more than a package delivery company. They provide other “services.” But then, plastered on the side of all of those thousands of trucks, passing millions of regular people each day, is this additional mind-numbing phrase: “Synchronizing the world of commerce.”

OK, I’m sufficiently immersed in the business world, and have learned enough about the UPS strategy to know that a key growth area of their business is providing a growing number of services to the entire supply chain. But shouldn’t that rather esoteric phraseology be saved for business publications and direct marketing pieces to Chief Operating Officers, instead of wasting all that moving billboard space flashing less-than-meaningful phrases to 99.5% of those who see them? For the average person, this branding is distant and meaningless. If I see just two of these trucks per weekday, that’s over 500 lost opportunities to speak a meaningful and memorable message to me per year.

If I went past a UPS truck and saw something like, “The World at Your Doorstep” I’d be able to immediately relate to it as a regular citizen (note: FexEx’s phrase, “The World on Time”, is brilliant). Or, embedded within an approachable tagline like “We’re Everywhere You Need Us” would be the global angle and the supply chain message – without wasting billboard space on “Synchronizing…Commerce” or undefined “Services.”

What can Brown do for us? A lot better than this, I think.

Impactiviti scale: (for presentation – their value and service, of course, are excellent)


Impactiviti provides strategic consulting services to increase brand impact.

About Steve Woodruff
Steve Woodruff is a blogger, a Connection Agent, and a consultant in the pharma/healthcare industry. He specializes in helping people and companies make mutually beneficial connections.

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