UPS Store unveils 'Cardboard World' interactive microsite

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The UPS Store launched an interactive microsite this week, extending its “Cardboard world” effort that promotes the outlet as a destination for services other than just shipping.

The portal, found at cardboard.theupsstore.com, includes interactive games and a sweepstakes promotion. The goal for the site is to entertain consumers and to educate them about the company's business services, including its recently launched Web-based printing program. The larger initiative began in April.

The company primarily wants to acquire new customers with the microsite, although it also aims to further engage existing ones, as well, said Tom Crockett, VP of worldwide sales and marketing at Mail Boxes Etc., a UPS company.

“As we have evaluated our customers in the years since the rebranding [from Mail Boxes Etc.], one thing that has been a challenge is getting them to understand that we do things other than shipping,” he said. “It's improved, but we have to raise the awareness of that.”

The company launched the site a half-year after Cardboard World to increase interaction with consumers and to target holiday shoppers, said Crockett. The effort's primary target audience is small business owners, he added, as well as seasonal shippers.

“We look at them as microbusinesses – businesses with five employees or less – which are doing a lot of things on their own,” he said. “They need the services we offer because they're not big enough to have them built into the company infrastructure.”

The site also introduces consumers to Joe Biz, a cardboard-like “small business adventurer” who needs help from consumers completing business projects around the site as he prepares for a meeting. Consumers get a token after helping him complete various tasks. When a consumer collects four tokens, he or she is eligible to register for sweepstakes and other prizes by entering personal information.

The company has not made a decision on how to use the consumer information acquired from consumers, but it will after studying site metrics, said Crockett.

The microsite was created by Doner, the company's creative agency of record.

The company will also launch banner advertising that will redirect consumers to the microsite from its corporate Web site.

Last month, the UPS Store launched a localized effort to promote its online printing capabilities.

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