Flashing Across the Country

Mr. Zip and the ZIP Code Promotional Campaign
Research Article

Mr. Zip standing on a flying envelope

By Abby Curtin

In 1963, the United States Post Office Department (POD) launched an advertising campaign on a grand scale. The department’s goal was to promote the widespread use of the newly developed Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP Code system). In order to persuade the reluctant American public to use the new five-digit code at the end of mailing addresses, the Post Office Department introduced Mr. Zip, a friendly looking cartoon character who gave personality to the ZIP Code campaign. Mr. Zip’s main job was to make the idea of the ZIP Code stick in the minds of Americans and to pass on the message that ZIP Code use would lead to faster, more efficient mail delivery for the entire country. This catchy and memorable cartoon brought ZIP Code to life for the Post Office Department and eventually became one of the most easily recognized figures in American advertising.

ZIP Codes