DHL understands better than most that a traditional advertising campaign is expensive and ineffective. But it still wanted to market itself, especially in the face of more efficient and effective competition.
So the firm decided to trick its competitors into advertising DHL across a city in the US.
DHL sent packages via competitors such as TNT and UPS to addresses that were awkward to deliver to. To ensure they weren’t caught the boxes were covered with a special ink that turned black when the boxes were chilled to sub-zero temperatures.
The ink was temperature-activated and as it warmed up, the ink faded revealing a large message that said “DHL is faster.”
The poor deliverymen had to struggle through crowds to deliver the large boxes. Whilst it’s unlikely many people actually noticed anything but it is bound to get a lot of viral exposure.
I’m looking forward to the response from UPS and the others!