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News Release

Staples Unveils First-Ever Super Bowl Commercial

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 22, 2004--

"Tough Guy" Actor Joe Viterelli, An Overzealous Office Worker And Baked Goods Humorously Illustrate How Staples Makes Buying Office Products Easy

Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS) today unveiled the creative behind its first-ever Super Bowl commercial, which uses famed "tough guy" character-actor Joe Viterelli to humorously highlight the company's brand promise to make buying office products easy. The 30-second spot, entitled "It Was Easy," is slated to air during the third quarter of the February 1, game.

"Staples' Super Bowl commercial is a comic dramatization of an office that has a flawed supply distribution process," said Shira Goodman, executive vice president of marketing for Staples. "It's the kind of empathetic humor that Staples has long been known for - but this time the message is clearly focused on how Staples makes buying office products easy."

The commercial depicts the title character, Randy, in the role of an office supply manager who despicably uses his position to take advantage of his co-workers. In order to get file folders, ink cartridges and paperclips from Randy, the office workers must abide by a policy of "baked goods as currency." Workers learn that they need to "give a little to get a little," but one co-worker is pushed too far. After discovering Staples as an easier method to obtain office supplies, he turns the tables on Randy with a little help from "tough guy" Joe Viterelli.

"The goal is to humorously and clearly deliver Staples' strategy of 'easy' within the context of other Super Bowl advertising," said Tom Moudry, executive vice president and creative director at Martin/Williams.

Staples' new tagline "Staples. that was easy(SM)." was introduced in March 2003 as part of a national advertising campaign that supports Staples new brand promise: "We make buying office products easy." Advertising during Super Bowl XXXVIII offers a unique opportunity to communicate this new brand direction by creatively recognizing the hassles people often face in getting office supplies and how Staples promises to provide an easy shopping experience.

"It Was Easy" was shot in New York and directed by Allen Coulter, a renowned director of HBO's critically-acclaimed "The Sopranos," "Sex and the City" and "Six Feet Under," as well as a contributor to the memorable "Whassup!" advertising campaign for Budweiser. It was created by Martin/Williams Advertising of Minneapolis and produced by Hungry Man Inc.

Credits include: Tom Moudry, Executive VP/Executive Creative Director; Bryan Michurski, Art Director and John Neumann, Copywriter.

About Staples

Staples, Inc. is headquartered outside of Boston and sells a wide range of office products, including supplies, technology, furniture, and business services. With 2002 sales of $11.6 billion, Staples is committed to make buying office products easy. Nearly 58,000 associates serve consumers and businesses of all sizes -- from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in the US, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Staples invented the office superstore concept and today, with approximately 1,500 office superstores, is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. Staples also serves its customers through its mail order catalog, e-commerce and contract businesses. More information is available at http://www.staples.com.

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CONTACT: Alan Taylor Communications
Mike Costabile, 212-714-1280
mike@alantaylor.com
or
Staples, Inc.
Paul Capelli/Deborah Hohler, 508-253-8530/8509
paul.capelli@staples.com
deborah.hohler@staples.com

SOURCE: Staples, Inc.