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Kermit and Piggy "race the truck" in new commercials

Courtesy of NASCAR and UPS
June 2, 2002

Kermit the Frog and the ever-glamorous Miss Piggy join the growing list of celebrities urging Dale Jarrett to race the truck as UPS unveils its most recent "We want to Race the Truck" commercial during the MNBA Platinum 400 in Dover, Del. this Sunday (FX 12:00 PM ET). Watch the commercials on-line from the UPS Web site.

The new spot opens with both Muppets poolside. With Miss Piggy sprawling on a chaise longue, Kermit – the ever demure and kind-hearted frog – reasons with Dale to race the truck.

"Dale, I know it's not easy being you and I sure don't want to tell you what to do," begins Kermit. Meanwhile, Piggy mocks his approach upstaging the frog with melodramatic comments like, "Oh brother," and "You're blowing it." Eventually, fed up with the "nice guy/frog," attitude she bounces off the longue, plows Kermit (mid-sentence) into the pool and bellows a final demand to the camera, "Race the truck, Jarrett."

Consistent with the campaign format, a follow-up spot shows the Jarrett reaction to seeing this commercial. Set in a convenience store, Dale awaits his deli order when the commercial airs on a TV behind the checkout counter. His deadpan response of, "You've got to be kidding me," has even the store clerks holding their sides with laughter as he departs leaving his lunch in tow.

The Muppets cap a list of musical celebrities who began this year's racing season campaign. George Thorogood and Charlie Daniels sing special versions of their popular hits "Bad to the Bone" and "Devil Went Down to Georgia" with a UPS "race the big, brown truck," twist. While Kermit and Miss Piggy opt for non-musical vocals, their charge falls within the commercials' humorous overtone.

"The 'race the truck' commercials continue to set the creative stage and increase the UPS Racing fan base," said Paul Meyer, group manager, UPS Brand Communications. "Based on the positive consumer feedback we've received since the campaign's debut and growing recognition from advertising and marketing awards, we think we've struck a chord with the American public – now if we could only get Dale to race the truck."

Now in its second racing season, the UPS campaign has grabbed a number of sports marketing and advertising trade honors. During the Winston Cup banquet in November, NASCAR recognized UPS with its 2001 Marketing Achievement Award marking the first time a first-year car sponsor has been so honored. Earlier this year, UPS received the Horizon Award for best sport-themed advertising against competitors that included sports apparel and equipment, network commercial promotions and fast food and beverage spots. The national Horizon awards, presented by the Atlanta Sports Council, focus attention on the business side of sports, acknowledging leagues, players, the media and sponsor companies for bottom-line success in leveraging sports involvement.

"Wondering who will try to get Dale to 'race the truck' next is one of the most interesting parts of this campaign," said Cliff Sorah, senior vice president and associate creative director for The Martin Agency of Richmond, Va. "The Muppets are such an American institution we felt that including them in the mix would be a great addition to the campaign and great fun for NASCAR and Jarrett fans. We are thrilled with the response these ads continue to generate among those who love racing and those who love the truck."

The ads are scheduled to run throughout the year in NASCAR race telecasts with print versions in motorsports and trade publications. The campaign will continue to evolve with other celebrity requests for Jarrett to race the truck.

UPS has been the official express delivery company of NASCAR since 2000 and is in its second year as primary sponsor of the #88 UPS Ford Taurus driven by Dale Jarrett for Robert Yates Racing. Building on the sport's growing popularity and fan loyalty, UPS has been recognized for a strong marketing platform that links its services to the speed, precision and reliability of NASCAR racing. UPS continues to build new business opportunity directly within the racing community, related automotive and supplier industries and with new revenues through licensed product merchandising. Visit www.racing.ups.com for more information about UPS Racing and #88 team performance and features.


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