FedEx recently launched a new video where they imply that social media is simply an intern’s job, digital efforts are basically pointless and businesses would be better served to focus their time and energy on the the products and services they offer, with the help of FedEx of course!
While the ad is in some cases spot on, it also playfully mocks the entire social media industry, including their own marketing team. FedEx’s previous Director of Digital and Social Media Engagement, Renee Horn admitted that the company accepted social media as a platform for their customers’ benefit, and this helped them connect with consumers and engage with employees internally. However, FedEx soon realised that they needed to do more to get their workforce on board with their social media efforts, so they launched an 18 month program which more than 500 employees successfully completed.
The ad spot, while highly entertaining, is a bit puzzling in that by their own admission, FedEx has invested greatly in social media training and initiatives. And yet, the ad seems to suggest social media is the domain of goofy teenage slackers. Some audiences feel that FedEx has insulted social media strategists and even themselves, but others feel that it is a very clever marketing tactic. They are known for their creative yet sometimes risky messaging and they definitely took a risk when they decided to use social media as the punching bag for their latest advertising campaign. Either way, the company has a lot of people talking, and isn’t that the whole point. For now, back to the cage.