Brand Storytelling Analysis: UPS Crafts a Good Story

We watch brand videos all the time around the Visual Creatives office. We stock our news readers full of feeds that showcase the best vids of the week, and we have an unofficial contest to be the first to find the latest and greatest. We spent a good deal of time playing with the R key in the Honda video (if you haven’t seen it, go try it out, but make sure you use a computer. It’s so much better on a computer). We write about videos, we specialize in brand video production, and we drool over every incremental improvement in HD video production.

What we don’t usually do, is tear up over videos.

UPS Uses a Good Story

Recently UPS captured the simplest, sweetest customer story and used it to craft an emotional moment that bonds the viewer to their brand and –usually — elicits a tear or two. It’s the simple story of Carson, a four year old boy who fell hard for his UPS driver and everything….brown. UPS made Carson’s dearest wish come true as part of their “Your Wishes Delivered” campaign. He gets to be a UPS driver.

Now come on….did you choke up just a little? I did. First of all, let’s all agree that Carson has a future in television. He couldn’t be any cuter or more animated. He is a creative director’s dream! But beyond that, the deep bond between Carson and Mr. Ernie is just touching. It’s a small, simple story with a huge impact.

Lessons to Learn from Carson and Mr. Ernie – Why the UPS Video Works

  • It’s relatable. No GoPro jumping off steep mountains here, this video highlights an everyday interaction that we’re all familiar with. In addition, we understand the fascination that young boys have with trucks, truck drivers and machinery in general. In brand archetype language, this is an Everyman Archetype. We all relate.
  • It humanizes a mega-corporation. UPS suddenly has a new face, and it’s Mr. Ernie. His characteristics and temperament now embody UPS’s brand promises. He is reliable, he is caring, he is a consistent feature in Carson’s life, he goes above and beyond the call of duty. I love Mr. Ernie by the end of this video, and I now associate that positive emotion with UPS. Well done, large corporation. I can hardly wait to find out the name of my UPS driver.
  • It is specific. UPS didn’t try to highlight a great testimonial from every aspect of their business. They created this one asset, showcased the Your Wishes Delivered campaign, and resisted the temptation to tell us about their features and benefits.
  • It creates community. We all long to feel part of a larger community, and with the interaction between Mr. Ernie and Carson, we feel that UPS is one of those ties that binds us together. It uses that everyman archetype to recall simpler times when our own schedules were limited by the doorbell ringing or a neighbor stopping by. We see that Carson knows his neighbors (and their dogs!) and is warmly welcomed by them. And during all this warm and fuzzy human interaction, Mr. Ernie (and UPS by extension) are right there granting wishes and making dreams come true.
  • It creates meaning. Let’s face it: we don’t usually think of package delivery as a meaningful occupation. It is something to do that keeps business and life running, but not much more than that. With this video, UPS repositions its mission and elevates its core service to connecting people to work that matters. Mr. Ernie matters to Carson, and Carson matters to Mr. Ernie. With this video UPS now matters to us.

Carson and Mr. Ernie’s story does a lot of heavy lifting for UPS.

Perhaps the key takeaway for Visual Creatives in working with our video production and marketing clients is that the laser-like focus of the Carson and Mr. Ernie story allows the piece to become a brand anthem. To broaden your appeal, tighten your focus.

Ready to dive into creating your brand story? Visual Creatives handles all facets of brand storytelling, from brand consulting to scripting to using our Ultra HD Red Epic and our top-notch team to craft your story. Contact us and let’s chat!