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1998: FedEx unveils clever ‘We Apologize’ spot during 1998 Super Bowl

To celebrate the Ad Club of New York's 120th anniversary, The Drum is inviting readers to share their favorite marketing moments from the past 120 years.

Today’s marketing moment was chosen by Eric Springer, chief creative officer of Innocean USA. Below, find out why FedEx’s ‘We Apologize’ Super Bowl spot from 1998 is his favorite marketing moment.

I love smart and funny. Who doesn’t? Probably people that are dumb and boring. But that’s not what we are talking about.

One of my favorite marketing moments of all time was so simple, so strategically spot on with the company's soul and so unbelievably cost-effective (maybe had a production budget of $1,000 to produce).

It was a FedEx Super Bowl commercial (which by the way has done amazing work on or off the Super Bowl). This commercial simply showed the bars that a TV network cuts to when an error has occurred in programming, such as a missing commercial within the pod. So the viewer saw a few Super Bowl spots, then suddenly the bars of death appeared with no sound.

Then after 10 seconds of this attention-getting nothingness, a simple message ran across the bottom of the frame that read: Next time use FedEx. When it absolutely, positively needs to get there. Boom.

See the full 120 Marketing Moments in the dedicated online section and find out how to purchase the exclusive book.

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