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The Federal Express Advertising History Collection

Interviewer:
Ellsworth, Scott, Dr.  Search this
Creator:
Smithsonian Institution  Search this
Fallon McElligott Advertising Agency  Search this
Federal Express Corporation  Search this
Names:
Ally & Gargano, Inc. (advertising agency)  Search this
Collector:
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Archives Center  Search this
Interviewee:
Ally, Carl  Search this
Altenburg, Nancy  Search this
Burnham, Patrick  Search this
Frazier, Sharon  Search this
Gargano, Amil  Search this
Kelly, Patrick  Search this
Miller, William B.  Search this
Moschitta, John (actor)  Search this
Oliver, Tom  Search this
Presley, Carol  Search this
Sedelmaier, Joe (filmmaker)  Search this
Smith, Fred  Search this
Tesch, Mike  Search this
Williams, Carl  Search this
Extent:
6.6 Cubic feet (20 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Oral history
Commercials
Videotapes
Clippings
Storyboards
Posters
Audiocassettes
Abstracts
Advertisements
Audiotapes
Place:
Memphis (Tenn.)
Minneapolis (Minn.)
Chicago (Ill.)
Hollywood (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Date:
1972-1989
Summary:
Created in 1971, the Federal Express Corporation, an overnight air freight delivery system was an innovative company known for its memorable advertising campaigns. The core of the Federal Express Advertising History Collection is a series of interviews conducted in 1988 by Dr. Scott Ellsworth. Twenty-five individuals associated with Federal Express advertising were interviewed about the company and its award-winning advertising.
Scope and Contents:
The Federal Express Advertising Collection documents the dvelopment of the overnight air freight delivery company with particular emphasis on the innovative advertising campaigns used to introduce and promote the company's services. The oral histories with individuals associated with both Federal Express Corporation and the advertising agencies form the core of the collection. Abstracts that provide biographical information and summaries of the interviews supplement the oral histories. Research files and company publications provide background information. Television commercials and print advertising contain examples, particularly illustrating the campaigns discussed in the interviews.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into eight series.

Series 1, Research Files, 1972-1988

Subseries 1.1, Federal Express Clippings Files

Subseries 1.2, Federal Express Research Reports

Subseries 1.3, Research Files

Series 2, Interviewee Files, 1988

Series 3, Oral History Interviews, 1988

Subseries 3.1, Original Interviews

Subseries 3.2, Researcher Copies

Subseries 3.3, Masters

Series 4, Television Advertising, 1973-1989

Subseries 4.1, Television Commercials

Subseries 4.2, Storyboards

Subseries 4.3, Slides and Photographs

Series 5, Print Advertising, 1972-1988

Subseries 5.1, Federal Express Print Advertising

Subseries 5.2, Federal Express Mechanicals

Subseries 5.3, Slides of Mechanicals and International Marketing

Subseries 5.4, Federal Express Posters

Subseries 5.5, Print Reference Materials

Series 6, Public Relations Materials, 1973-1988

Series 7, Company Publications, 1973-1988

Series 8, Miscellaneous, Undated
Biographical / Historical:
In 1971, Fred Smith of Memphis, Tennessee created the Federal Express Corporation, an overnight air freight delivery system. He based his idea for a new approach to the air freight delivery service on the "hub and spoke system." According to Smith's innovative model, a fleet of airplanes would fly packages from cities across the nation each evening to a central "hub" in Memphis, where the parcels would be unloaded, sorted, and re-loaded onto other planes for travel to their final destinations. Smith's objective was two-fold: to expedite delivery of the parcels and to ensure their security in the process.

In 1977, Congress passed the Air Cargo Deregulation Act. This enabled Federal Express to fly much larger planes and to expand its business without substantial capital investment. During its first decade of existence, the corporation achieved remarkable success, enjoying its first billion-dollar revenue in 1981.

Federal Express originally employed two advertising agencies: Ally & Gargano, Inc. of New York City (1974-1987) and Fallon McElligott of Minneapolis (1987 - 1994). In its early years, Federal Express was attracted to Ally & Gargano due to the agency's small size and its entrepreneurial spirit. Fred Smith believed these traits would foster the creativity necessary for original and effective advertising to introduce Federal Express. It was the responsibility of the agency to convince customers not only to abandon such incumbants in the industry as Emery, United Parcel Service and the U.S. Postal Service, but also to trust Federal Express, a newcomer.

Ally & Gargano targeted the professional community and the general public through print advertisements and television commercials. Especially in the latter medium, the agency used humor as its primary marketing technique, emphasizing competitors' "slowness" and "unreliability." In 1981, the agency launched a series of widely acclaimed ads with John Moschitta as the "Fast Talking Man." The slogan "When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight" seen at the close of most commercials served as a practical reminder of Federal Express' function.

Federal Express moved its account from Ally & Gargano to Fallon McElligott in 1987. Fallon McElligott's first television campaign used the phrase "It's more than just a package -- it's your business" and depicted scenes of different work environments. The campaign stressed the seriousness with which Federal Express handled its customers' parcels. In 1988, Federal Express was a sponsor of the Winter Olympics.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Ally and Gargano, Inc. Print Advertisements (AC0938)
Provenance:
Made by the Smithsonian Institution and donated by the Federal Express Corporation, 1988.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Television advertising  Search this
Advertising campaigns  Search this
advertising -- History  Search this
Broadcast advertising  Search this
Service industries  Search this
Overnight delivery service  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial -- Freight  Search this
Business -- History  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews -- 1970-1990
Oral history
Commercials
Videotapes
Clippings
Storyboards
Posters
Audiocassettes
Abstracts
Advertisements
Audiotapes
Citation:
The Federal Express Advertising History Collection, 1972-1989, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smiithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0306
See more items in:
The Federal Express Advertising History Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0306

Radio Smithsonian #902

Collection Interviewer:
Ellsworth, Scott, Dr.  Search this
Collection Creator:
Smithsonian Institution  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound cassette
Container:
Box 31
Type:
Archival materials
Sound cassettes
Scope and Contents:
Two segments: Via Air Express details the history of overnight delivery services and Training the Top Guns describes thte training of Navy pilots.
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
The Federal Express Advertising History Collection, 1972-1989, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smiithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
The Federal Express Advertising History Collection
The Federal Express Advertising History Collection / Series 8: Miscellaneous
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0306-ref246

Overnight Delivery Services/FedEx Verbatims

Collection Interviewer:
Ellsworth, Scott, Dr.  Search this
Collection Creator:
Smithsonian Institution  Search this
Container:
Box 5
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
The Federal Express Advertising History Collection, 1972-1989, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smiithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
The Federal Express Advertising History Collection
The Federal Express Advertising History Collection / Series 1: Research Files / 1.2: Federal Express Research Reports
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0306-ref94

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Express

Creator:
Warshaw, Isadore, 1900-1969  Search this
Extent:
3.15 Cubic feet (consisting of 6 boxes, 1 folder, 4 oversize folders, 2 map case folders, 1 flat box (partial).)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Business records
Signs (declaratory or advertising artifacts)
Business cards
Publications
Catalogs
Periodicals
Printed material
Ephemera
Printed ephemera
Advertisements
Advertising
Advertising cards
Business ephemera
Advertising mail
Travelers' checks
Receipts
Invoices
Print advertising
Newsletters
Letterheads
Sales letters
Advertising fliers
Catalogues
Business letters
Sales records
Commercial catalogs
Correspondence
Trade cards
Trade catalogs
Manufacturers' catalogs
Sales catalogs
Date:
1841-1975
Summary:
A New York bookseller, Warshaw assembled this collection over nearly fifty years. The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana: Express forms part of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Subseries 1.1: Subject Categories. The Subject Categories subseries is divided into 470 subject categories based on those created by Mr. Warshaw. These subject categories include topical subjects, types or forms of material, people, organizations, historical events, and other categories. An overview to the entire Warshaw collection is available here: Warshaw Collection of Business Americana
Scope and Contents:
Express, local and general, companies offered the following services: money orders, express shipments including parcels and packages, money, valuables to any part of the world including bills, notes and drafts for collection typical referred to as C.0.D's (cash on demand, cash on delivery). There is some material from railroad express freight lines.

Foreign express companies had international offices used by the travelling public as a headquarters when aboard. Agents in the offices would receive and forward mail and assist with information about routes, baggage, rates and localities.

The materials are comprised of business records related to daily transactions and the promotion of express services and include correspondence, invoices, receipts, advertisements, price lists, reward posters, pamphlets, photographs and publications. Wax seals are present on some envelopes. There is very little in the way of illustrations, but those present have been noted.

Significantly represented companies are Adams Express, American Express, National Express Company, and Wells Fargo. There is no supplemental general topic/industry material.
Arrangement:
Express contains one subseries.

Business Records and Marketing Material
Provenance:
Express is a portion of the Business Ephemera Series of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Accession AC0060 purchased from Isadore Warshaw in 1967. Warshaw continued to accumulate similar material until his death, which was donated in 1971 by his widow, Augusta. For a period after acquisition, related materials from other sources (of mixed provenance) were added to the collection so there may be content produced or published after Warshaw's death in 1969. This practice has since ceased.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Some items may be restricted due to fragile condition.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Consumer goods -- Catalogs  Search this
Overnight delivery service  Search this
Money  Search this
Money -- 19th century  Search this
Shipping  Search this
Genre/Form:
Business records
Signs (declaratory or advertising artifacts)
Business cards
Publications -- Business
Catalogs
Periodicals
Printed material
Ephemera
Printed ephemera
Advertisements
Advertising
Advertising cards
Business ephemera
Advertising mail
Travelers' checks
Receipts
Invoices
Print advertising
Newsletters
Letterheads
Sales letters
Advertising fliers
Catalogues
Business letters
Sales records
Commercial catalogs
Correspondence -- 1880-1950
Trade cards
Correspondence
Trade catalogs
Manufacturers' catalogs
Sales catalogs
Citation:
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Express, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0060.S01.01.Express
See more items in:
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Express
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0060-s01-01-express

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