• 03.09.10

Zappos’ New “Crank Yankers”-Style Ads Are a Shoe Win

The online retailer debuts its first-ever commercial using real phone calls to illustrate their legendary customer service.


It’s practically impossible to say anything bad about online retailer Zappos. They’ve got a sparkling customer service record, quirky corporate culture, let’s not forget that $847 million check from Amazon, and now–for a company that probably doesn’t even have to advertise–some of the funniest ads on TV.


Boston-based ad agency Mullen took a page from another genre of phone call-inspired hilarity, the Comedy Central show Crank Yankers, created by Adam Corolla and Jimmy Kimmel. They used real audio from actual customer service calls, and enlisted puppeteer Randy Carfagno to create a cast of plush characters cheekily called the “Zappets.” The director is Aaron Duffy, who you’ll remember from that awwwwww-inducing Super Bowl spot for Google. More spots are on the way.


About the author

Alissa is a design writer for publications like Fast Company, GOOD and Dwell who can most often be found in Los Angeles. She likes to walk, ride the bus, and eat gelato.