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FedEx, for the first time in 12 years, will not advertise in the 2009 Super Bowl

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Make no mistake, our advertising presence in 18 Super Bowls since 1989 has strategically allowed FedEx to establish itself as a household name.  And it is indisputable that the Super Bowl is the only single event where an advertiser can reach a global audience of this size . . . last year almost 98 million people watched the game.

FedEx has become synonymous with Super Bowl advertising and we’ve had some amazing marketing moments.  To name a few, giant carrier pigeons wreaked havoc and tossed cars in our CGI city, the Stanley Cup wound up in Bolivia, we learned that the cherished Castaway package contained a survival kit, blank color bars surprised all when we learned the network did not use FedEx one year and the EMMY award-winning “Stick,” featuring the FedEx cave men, showed us that FedEx rocked the prehistoric age.

But times have changed.

As a country, we are in unprecedented economic waters.  And as a responsible employer of more than 290,000 employees and contractors worldwide, there is a time to justify such an ad spend and a time to step back. 

As FedEx employees, we, like millions of people at other companies, are being asked to do more with less.  Our most vital asset is the thousands of FedEx team members who truly enable the world to work, absolutely, positively, every day.  In the ultimate medium when where the message is king, being in the game simply sends the wrong message both to employees and other FedEx constituents.  A Super Bowl ad buy is not where we should put dollars at this time although, in the past, the value of doing so for FedEx has been indisputable. 

I’m proud to say that we’ve had quite the run.  FedEx has talked directly with hundreds of millions of customers over the years through the Super Bowl and launched the FedEx brand in some incredibly funny and memorable ways. 

We look very forward to the time when it makes sense for FedEx to advertise in the Super Bowl again.  For now, it’s just time for us to call a time out.

Comments (77) 

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Mr Smith's TV appearances have been an effective and incredible way to advertise how strong and successful this company is. Anyone who sits with him, (Including Barney Frank of all people) can only agree with him! Keep it up Mr Smith. Your Performance Sunday morning was impressive. No hand waving, no arguing. Just direct, effective solutions NOBODY could argue with. Congress needs to listen and this country can recover much quicker with your ideas.

Our company will plan to use FedEx more frequently now because of this wise decision. A big cheer goes to FedEx.

Proud To Stand as a Beacon to the World. I am continually Impressed with the Forward-thinking of Fred Smith and this Leadership Team. Every time I get comfortable with assessing that he has done his Absolute Best, he steps it up one more knotch and simply "outdoes" himself. He seems to always be one step ahead of the rest of the world. Truly his Leadership is a Beacon to the world on several levels - but saving jobs by reallocating marketing dollars - and allowing the people to become this years' "advertising" campaign is simply brillant!

Well said. I agree with you 100% on that our lack of presence makes a lound statement. I believe that just the name FedEx sells itself and doesn't need much advertising anyway.

I think FedEx made a very smart move by not advertising in the super bowl. I've worked for FedEx for the past 5 years and the one thing I love about this company is that everytime I wake up to come to work in the morning .. I CAN wake up and COME to work!!! Theres not to many ppl today who have a job they can wake up and come to and FedEx makes sure that us employees have a job by making such sacrafices as this one!! Way to go FedEx!!!!!!!

I am proud to be called a Fedex employee, out of 21 years of employment this top it all. Keep up the good works and we will make it thru this crisis to see better time again..... God Bless America

Excellent move by the upper management team..it makes me proud to say i'm a FED EX EMPLOYEE...

the decision by FedEx not to advertise during the Super Bowl is a bold move and probaly saved the company some time and money.Times are tough and very glad to be associated with this great company.I highly commend this move.

A great decision! In the current economic environment of so many people losing their jobs and not being about to pay their bills, FedEx is helping many of their employees to survive. FedEx is a wonderful company to work for and they look out for their employees any way they can to make things better!

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