Thursday, December 11, 2014

UPS Plays the Cute Kid Card - Is Big Brown Desperate?

By Mel Carriere

Is it safe to assume that you have all seen the UPS ad by now featuring the adorable 4 year old Carson Kight of Colorado Springs, Colorado?  If not, the long and short of the ad is that this tyke idolizes the UPS delivery driver who brought him life saving baby formula as an infant and then further stirred his passion for all things brown by letting him hop aboard the delivery truck.  Later on, in an act staged for maximum heart warming marketing appeal, the driver reappeared and broought Carson his own delivery uniform and a miniature UPS delivery truck to wheel up and down the neighborhood and annoy the neighbors with.  Touching, tear jerking stuff.

If you haven't seen the video I am not going to aid and abet the enemy by putting a link to it here.  You all have crazy mad Google skills; evidenced by the fact that you were able to find this remote, uncharted, dusty little corner of cyberspace that is my blog, so if you really want to see the commercial it should be easy enough to find.

The way they are dragging this poor kid around on a massive publicity tour, it seems to me that the public image of United Parcel Service has fallen so badly since their holiday Amazon debacle of 2013 that the company is trying to worm its way into a domain traditionally reserved for the United States Postal Service.  That's right - add an 'S' in between the 'U' and the 'P' and you know who really is the best friend of America's children.

I have nothing against this Carson Kight kid; he of the mini driver's suit and stripped down Barbie mobile repainted brown.  It wasn't his fault he became so intimately acquainted with his UPS driver.  If his parents would have been wiser and thriftier they could have probably cut their delivery expenses significantly by choosing the Post Office, and then the letter carrier would have been Carson's hero, just like he or she is for very other American kid.  It was no doing of Carson that he was cursed with parents who aren't too...I'll just leave it at that.  It's important to Carson's upbringing that he maintain the illusion his parents are doing the best they can for him, and I suppose part and parcel of this illusion is the illusion that UPS is the best choice for delivering his parcels.

I don't know where the expression part and parcel came from, but it certainly seems appropriate here.  Meanwhile, in spite of this brazen attempt to encroach upon their monopoly, kids still prefer the mailman by an overwhelming, I would even say mind boggling majority.  The truth is, how many kids even know their UPS driver's name?  Big Brown swings around once every blue moon at most to drop off the odd package that they didn't leave on the back dock of the local post office.  The letter carrier, on the other hand, is there every single day, even Sunday.  America's children watch in awe as letters and packages magically materialize from the back of the postal vehicle and end up on their doorsteps.  The letter carrier is an object of love and even reverence by kids everywhere.  Most of the time even their dog loves the mailman, and this is the same mutt that left nasty teeth marks just below the hem line of the UPS guy's ugly brown shorts six months ago, when he last came around.

So just go ahead Carson and deliver those packages of cookies and muffins to your neighbors in your little brown truck.  This is just one more example of how United Parcel Service continues to sub-contract its services to other delivery operations while still gouging its customers with premium prices.

Image from:


  1. Hi Mel,

    Sorry this video got under your skin so much.
    Carson loved our USPS driver too. Unfortunately this gentleman retired earlier this year and we have gotten a string of not so interesting replacements since.

    You do not seem to be very savvy with the way things work these days so I will help you understand. We do not pick the method of delivery these days. We order 'stuff' online and that vendor handles the logistics. Some vendors work exclusively with UPS and some with USPS. In the case of the formula, our health insurance company used UPS. As much as your disturbing inner thoughts may dictate, it has nothing to do with our IQs.

    You talk a lot about the thriftiness of USPS as a choice, yet UPS is a private company that has to scratch for every penny they earn, including producing this commercial that got you so riled up in order to compete. They do not have the option of running 18 billion dollars in debt. The real crime is that every American citizen, including Carson when he gets older, is paying for the USPS even if they don’t use it. Factor that hidden cost in and I wonder how the prices match up. Yet, I’m still happy for you and your fellow delivery-people, because it looks like we are on the verge of giving you your Saturdays off!

    Truth be told, Most of our outbound deliveries are still through USPS, the film crew that shot this story had its equipment shipped by FedEx and Carson has a DHL truck he loves to play with too.

    The point you might take from this story is that it's not the Company that we or Carson cares about; it's the quality of the delivery people that matter. Based upon your rantings here, I'm blessed we had Mr. Ernie and our previous USPS postman instead.

    Carson’s curse

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.