Zappos Turned True Customer Stories Into Charming Low-Budget Ads

Dramatizing its quest for perfect customer service

Zappos is leaning into its reputation for customer service with a new set of ads reenacting the absurd lengths to which it will go to satisfy people who buy its products.

One spot features a toddler ballerina and her father. Decked out in a pink tutu, she keeps refusing the various ballet shoes he’s ordered for her. Zappo’s keeps exchanging them, until eventually, at her recital, her true taste is revealed (It’s a classic choice, albeit a generally more lowbrow one.) Her performance is also excellent.

A second spot features a husband who, in the throes of moving house with his wife, accidentally packs all her jewelry into a Zappos box, which also contains a item to be returned. She unknowingly ships it back to the company, and her sheepish husband is forced to plead for assistance. Thankfully, the representative he reaches is able to intercept the package in time, and fly commercially, clutching it to his chest, to return it to the happy couple (earning perhaps a bit more gratitude than he bargained for).

In a third spot, a young man’s yoga moves make his women classmates jealous—prompting him to plug the new pants he got with one-day shipping from Zappos. Fast-forward and their musclebound boyfriends are threateningly stalking him in class after hearing a bit too much at home about how limber he is.

All three ads, created for the Amazon-owned online retailer by agency Praytell, use the line “Our vow is to wow.” The ads bill themselves as “based on true stories,” though which parts exactly are true aren’t clear. Nonetheless, the point gets across with enough force, and at least as much credibility as any marketing message (bolstered in this case by the company’s widely acknowledged commitment to keeping its customers happy).

In other words, it’s a fun and functional campaign, though the brand has set a high bar for itself with some of its previous work—it’d be hard for any idea to live up to the drama of a teenage llama.

Client: Zappos
Spots: True Stories
Creative Agency: Praytell (
Director: Paul Coy Allen
Production Company: Hayhead
Budget: $220K

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@GabrielBeltrone Gabriel Beltrone is a frequent contributor to Adweek.
Publish date: November 7, 2017 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT