Adman's Granddaddy Inspires USPS to Resume TV Advertising

09 November 2001

The US Postal Service is to resume television advertising on Sunday having suspended all TV activity in the aftermath of the anthrax attacks [WAMN: 30-Oct-01].

The 60-second spot was created by Grey Worldwide – not a member of the service's creative agency roster – although Grey sibling MediaCom handles USPS media buying.

Grey’s creative breakthrough (at the expense of USPS agency of record Leo Burnett) is thanks to Grey Worldwide president Steve W Blamer whose anecdotes about his postman grandfather inspired Grey creatives to develop a speculative treatment for presentation at an ideas brainstorming session to which USPS called all its ad … and media ... shops.

For its first thirty seconds the commercial shows monotone stills of old-time postal carriers, accompanied by the USPS credo, ‘Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds’. Thirty seconds on, it bursts into full color with shots of current mail carriers at work and backed by Carly Simon's ‘Let the River Run.’

The spot will run during prime-time shows; on network news-related programming; and on network and cable NFL games.

Says USPS advertising manager Larry Speaks: “We hope the takeaway is that the Postal Service is working hard and that people are working even in the face of some danger.” He added that Leo Burnett remains the Postal Service's agency of record and its ads would probably resume next year.

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