USPS shows CES modernity with, um, Marilyn Monroe

In the crowded exhibition halls of CES, the United States Postal Service serves up a little anachronism.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read
Is she the future? Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

LAS VEGAS -- If you want to be impressive, you have to make an impression.

Which is why I walked up to the United States Postal Service's booth at CES yesterday and felt involuntary tears well up in my eyes.

For here, in this vast cave of newness, was the USPS offering Marilyn Monroe.

Yes, I know it's Vegas, where everything fake is real and vice-versa. But when you already have an image of being slightly behind the times, it's a little odd to offer an image that is slightly before color TV.

I imagined that Monroe might be featured because she was appearing on that old-fashioned thing called a stamp. But I understand that the first time she appeared on one, it was 1995.

I admit to having a very soft spot for the USPS. My mailman Bernie is the kindest, most reliable man, with an ear for local politics that is both sensitive and astute.

However, this is CES and I want to believe. I want to believe that the traditional brands can fight back against the pimpled teens and their self-referential ideas.

So I imagined that, at the very least, the USPS could offer the promise of a future. I searched for a slogan on its booth. And there it was: "Sell it. Pack It. Ship It."

Well, yes. That seems fairly broad and generic. I also saw words like "ideas," "strategies" and the dreaded "solutions."

But why should I use USPS, rather than FedEx or UPS? Is there some new-fangled electronic wonderland hidden deep in the heart of the USPS bunker?

Perhaps, but it wasn't evident from any impression the booth gave.

So I walked away, to be enthralled by dancing drones.