Social Media Combat: FedEx vs. UPS

By Erik Qualman

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FedEx’s Brown Bailout campaign is old, but I find it an interesting use of social media.  The video below is one in a series that spoofs the UPS “White Board” commercials and it has over 300,000 on YouTube.

The video implies that UPS is looking for a government bailout that will hurt tax payers, but others speculate that part of the purpose of this FedEx social media effort is to help avoid FedEx employees from unionizing.

Whatever the case may be, it appears to attract interest.  The Brown Bailout Facebook Page has over 128,000 people like it.  What do you think?  Do you like this use of social media?  Or do you find it beneath FedEx to be this aggressive?

brown bailout facebook

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10 responses to “Social Media Combat: FedEx vs. UPS

  1. Hi Bobbi-Jo,
    I agree with you completely. The medium in which the response was made is not important, but rather the importance is that a response was made. Do you remember the Pizza Hut or SubWay incidents a few years back? It looks like UPS learned from that.
    I think it is really important for social media to be a large part of marketing campaigns because, soon word-of-mouth will STEM from what is found online, if it isn’t already.

    We’ve posted an interesting article on our page called “How To Make An Engaging Facebook page” which readers might find interesting. That is exactly what the Brown Bailout Facebook Page does. It engages followers to get involved and regularly check back to the page.

  2. Whether FedEx is being too aggressive or whether I “like” this use of social media is pretty immaterial in my opinion. The point moreso is that social media is and will be used as another form of communication to the masses for corportate and political machines just like original media from newspaper, radio, TV and of course the daddy of all – word of mouth.

    Regardless of how the message is delivered, it is still remains the citizen’s responsibility to check both sides of the story.

    • Bobbi-Jo, sadly, I agree with you. We marketers all still enthralled with our shiny social media marketing opportunities and for the most part taking the high road, but we will sooner or later find a way to circumvent or reinvent “best practices” and “conversation” and “transparency” and milk it.
      Debbie – I am sorry for the pain but, as Eric said, your response was excellent, straightforward and backed-up with info.
      All – what is your sci-fi or “likely to occur” projection of where social media will take society in 20 years? See my post on that today, if you like: Love to know your vision.

      • Bobbi-Jo/Moss: Thanks for the input and opinion on this conversation – it will be interesting to see where marketing goes from here because if you aren’t moving forward, you are moving backward.

        – equalman

    • Hi E.B. – I LOVE your biz names Moss Appeal and Moss Hysteria. Great play on words. Social media’s influence in 20 years? Yikes! Great question and I need to spend some time crunching on that in the back of head.

  3. Debbie:

    You are doing great work! The speed that you replied to this is amazing, which shows the dedication of the UPS staff to do things right in a social media world. Having lived in Atlanta for 6 years, this is great to see. Keep up the good work and thanks for providing more facts on this initiative!

    Best, equalman

  4. Hi Erik:

    I’m Debbie Curtis-Magley with UPS PR. It may be interesting, but I’m sure your readers will be glad to know that UPS never asked for a bailout. provided its analysis on the “Brown Bailout” claims last year. Here’s a link if your readers would like to learn more

    Debbie Curtis-Magley
    UPS Public Relations

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