The Horse in the UPS Store

By Mike Johnson

One Saturday morning, 13 years ago, we walked a horse into the UPS Store. We were shooting an ad for a tourist guide that we gave to our trolley tour passengers. It was one of the funnest & most memorable ads we ever created.

Why? It was out-of-the-stable thinking. To this day, people still pull us aside & mention this ad.

Cody is a tourist town so the UPS Store wanted to let visitors know they can ship anything they buy here right to their home address. We dreamed up the horse idea.

What you don't see is me outside the shot, holding a bucket, just in case the unspeakable happened (it didn't).

We arrived at the store a half hour before they opened. We enlisted our friend Leslie (in red), who selected the calmest horse (Gonzo) from her herd.

We gathered all the materials & people & walked through the shot while the horse stood in its trailer outside. When everything was ready, Leslie walked in the horse & everyone sprang to their positions. My wife Margie directed everyone while shooting her camera. Within five minutes, the shoot was done & the horse safely back in the trailer.

Our finished ad is shown here. The horse behaved perfectly & received a few carrots as a reward. I behaved satisfactorily & got to keep the bucket.

One of the best perks of business ownership is the ability to create anything out of thin air. Fun things. Creative things. Things that help everyone. And charge money for it!

If your daily business routine has gotten stale, maybe it's time for some out-of-the-stable ideas.


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