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FedEx puts location at center of time-sensitive mobile campaign

FedEx is gearing up for the rush of holiday shipping with a targeted campaign that reminds users to get their packages sent in time for Christmas by finding nearby locations.

The mobile ads are running within the IMDb mobile site. FedEx has used mobile advertising in the past to drive brand awareness.

?If the consumer finds a FedEx store nearby and does not have the time or is considering the price and service comparison, this campaign may work,? said Isabella Lin, content director at Appitalism, New York.

?But whether the map function works or not, it is no directly conclusive that consumers will go to the FedEx store,? she said.

?The key is attracting consumers with promotions and activities in the ad campaign. If FedEx does not have attractive holiday activities, consumers can Google map to any other transportation company that brings more value to the consumer or better promotions and activities. In today's information age, consumers can search in many platforms to locate a delivery company.?

Ms. Lin is not affiliated with FedEx. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.

FedEx did not respond to press inquiries by deadline.

Mobile mail
The creative for the expandable banner ads features animation and shows the FedEx logo with a ticking clock next to it that switches between counting down the number of days until Christmas and the number of days left that consumers have to mail their packages in time for the holiday.

When users tap on the ad, a landing page splits the screen in two with both running clocks.

A button at the bottom then encourages consumers to find a nearby FedEx store, which triggers a new set of animated creative to splash across the page.

Copy encourages consumers to take a break from holiday stress by using FedEx Ground to ensure that packages are delivered in time for the holidays.

The ad unit then asks if it is OK to use a mobile device?s built-in GPS.

From there, consumers can view a map that shows nearby businesses that offer FedEx services. Each listing includes contact information with an address and click-to-call feature.

Timely message
Running this type of campaign leading up to the holidays works for FedEx on a few different levels.

First, the ad is time-sensitive and keeps the holidays top of mind for consumers.

Furthermore, FedEx?s main objective is to get consumers to use its services, meaning that it is critical to drive in-store traffic. By placing location as the main piece of the campaign, the ad unit is personalized for each user.

This is not the first time that FedEx has used an interactive ad unit to promote its shipping services.

Last year, the company worked with Medialets, OMD and BBDO on a mobile ad campaign that used audio and rich media to offer consumers a special deal (see story).

As consumers increasingly become more comfortable interacting with content, personalization and relevance in campaigns will be the deal breaker for successful advertising. 

?There is strong competition in the parcel delivery industry ? if FedEx wants to win, then it needs to put more effort into this mobile ad campaign,? Ms. Lin said.

?Rich media is one way to do this and attract the attention of consumers,? she said.

?This campaign may remind consumers to ship holiday gifts, but if consumers cannot see the benefit from this ad, then they will not necessarily go with FedEx, maybe they go with one of FedEx?s competitors.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York