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Staples New Advertising Launches ''The Department of Unexpected Gifts'' And A Mission to Make Holiday Shopping Easy

Quirky Cast Led by Legendary Performer Engelbert Humperdinck Bans

                     Mediocre Holiday Gift-Giving

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 15, 2006--On a mission to bring back that 'unexpected' feeling of anticipation and excitement that used to accompany the holiday gift-giving experience, Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) announces the launch of a new integrated marketing holiday campaign called "The Department of Unexpected Gifts." Starring legendary singer and pop-culture icon Engelbert Humperdinck in his first U.S. television commercials, "The Department of Unexpected Gifts" advertising will kick off the multi-vehicle marketing effort. Throughout the campaign, members of "The Department of Unexpected Gifts" serve up much-needed gift-giving advice to befuddled shoppers wanting to branch out beyond the usual sweaters and perfume this holiday season.

"The Department of Unexpected Gifts" matches Humperdinck with an all-star team of quirky gift-giving experts:

    --  Holiday Dancer: A free-spirit with a zest for all things
        shiny, she's giving shredders to her friends and family

    --  Taste Maker: A style-obsessed fashionista, his expertise is
        office furniture and organization

    --  Sweater Lady: Adorned with her trademark colorful sweater,
        she's a holiday enthusiast and stocking stuffer expert

    --  Arctic Nomad: Passionate about mobile technology, he
        recommends GPS systems this year

    --  Mr. Nibbles - As a reindeer, grazing is on top of his list,
        along with notebook computers

The first advertising execution, titled "Oath," debuts Sunday, Nov. 19 and features the swearing in ceremony for 'The Department of Unexpected Gifts' expert agents. Four additional executions in a mix of 15- and 30-second spots each highlight a different recommended gift. McCann Erickson developed the advertising.

"With 'The Department of Unexpected Gifts' marketing campaign, Staples stakes out a unique retailer positioning this holiday season," said Shira Goodman, Staples Executive Vice President of Marketing. "The collection of characters we've assembled brings our marketing strategy to life in a bold and fun way."

'The Department of Unexpected Gifts" effort is the most integrated marketing campaign ever executed by Staples and includes:

    --  TV, print, radio and online advertising, integrated with the
        now iconic Staples Easy Button

    --  Circulars, direct mail and in-store executions including 150
        recommended gifts in-store bearing the official seal of "The
        Department of Unexpected Gifts"

    --  Dedicated micro site with tips and product ordering
        capabilities -

    --  Black Friday event featuring "The Department of Unexpected
        Gifts" with public relations support

Staples makes it easy to transport items by offering free shipping for all orders over $50, as well as a convenient pack-and-ship service in the more than 1,200 U.S. Staples store locations.

About Staples

Staples, Inc. invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and today is the world's largest office products company. With 69,000 talented associates, the company is committed to making it easy to buy a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With 2005 sales of $16.1 billion, Staples serves consumers and businesses ranging from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in 21 countries throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. Headquartered outside of Boston, Staples operates 1,800 office superstores and also serves its customers through mail order catalog, e-commerce and contract businesses. More information is available at


    CONTACT: Michelle Young, 312-988-2294
             Staples, Inc.
             Deborah Hohler, 508-253-8509

    SOURCE: Staples