Television commercials are crucial tools that help companies to strengthen their brands in the market and promote awareness of the products they offer. Zeiser (2015) explains that modern-day television advertisements go beyond informing people about the existence of a product or a brand of a company. They seek to motivate, inspire, influence attitudes, to steer certain emotions, and to entertain. Advertisements are often considered a nuisance, especially when they come in between popular television programs. As such, some viewers have learned to ignore them, which means that the message passed may not have a significant effect on them. In an effort to address this challenge, companies try to ensure that viewers find their advertisements entertaining, informing, or evoking good emotions. One such advertisement is FedEx’s What’s Inside television commercial. In this report, the researcher seeks to discuss specific motivational aspects of this campaign and the specific stimulus factors that relate to it.
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What’s Inside is good and effective campaign because of various reasons. One of the most impressive aspects of this advertisement is that it starts by creating suspense, through a question (What is inside?). An individual develops a desire to know what is inside the FedEx’s package. The video then continues to address the suspense. “A moment of joy, a source of inspiration, and an act of kindness” are what its customers are promised (FedEx, 2018). It means that this delivery company provides not just logistical solutions. It goes beyond to offer joy, inspiration, and an act of kindness. The advertisement then creates another suspense through another question (What will it bring?). In this context, viewers/potential customers are informed that whenever they receive a package from FedEx, it could “bring an old friend, a new beginning, a welcome relief, a cause for celebration, the help you have been looking for” (FedEx, 2018). The video ends with a promise of delivering possibilities.
It is equally important to note that the message is accompanied with people whose reactions (facial expressions and body language) after picking up their packages delivered by FedEx reflect joy and satisfaction. We meet a medical officer who was waiting for an important delivery (probably a medicine) relieved upon receiving the package. The chef is also happy that finally the ingredients he needed so much have arrived through FedEx. The sense of satisfaction and the joy of the characters emphasize the reliability of this company to deliver on its promise. Most important for the viewers is the ability to create suspense and then provide inspiring and entertaining answers to each question. The confidence in the voice of the narrator is another success factor in the campaign.
The motivational aspect of the campaign is reflected in its promise to customers. As mentioned above, the advertisement promises its customers joy, satisfaction, and relief with every delivery they make. FedEx understands that people face various problems in life and sharing the resources we have may sometimes help one to overcome these challenges. Its primary role is to ensure that it delivers packages from one parson or entity to another within the shortest time possible. It believes that in so doing, the recipient will experience the joy of their burden being lessened and the sender will have the satisfaction of seeing others happy because of their decision to help them. The stimulus factors that relate to the motivational aspects of the campaign are the people smiling, jumping, and celebrating upon receiving their packages. It is an assurance that almost every time FedEx comes by, there will be a group of happy and satisfied people. A smile, a pleasant surprise, a sigh of relief, and a giggle all reflect what this company delivers.
The effort of the company to pass a promotional message to its audience in an entertaining and inspiring manner worked in this advertisement. The 60-second video is long enough to pass an effective message to the audience while, at the same time, is short enough to prevent boredom. It avoids unnecessary information and focuses on happiness that its customers enjoy every time they consider using the services of the company. FedEx also ensured that the target audience was reached. Although customers using this company’s services are predominantly adults, it passes a message that everyone shall benefit from the services it offers. From a young child who is looking for a toy to an old man who gets a gift from a long lost friend, it is apparent that with FedEx, everyone comes out a winner. Age, gender, physical disabilities, or profession is not a barrier to joy and satisfaction when one uses FedEx. Although the advertisement is effective in passing its message, it can be improved to make it more effective. From the start to the end of the video, the focus has been on the happiness of the recipients of packages delivered by FedEx. However, the advertisement does not effectively address the satisfaction that senders have knowing that packages they sent were a source of joy to others.
FedEx. (2018). What’s inside? [Video file]. Web.
Zeiser, A. (2015). Transmedia marketing: From film and TV to games and digital media. New York, NY: Focal Press.