For those who don’t know, MailChimp is an email marketing platform that helps its customers around the world sell goods and advertise their brands. In early 2017, MailChimp embarked on its first major advertising campaign, a bold, madly imaginative brew of activations that are arousing intrigue at every corner.
The nugget that apparently lies at the core of this kooky campaign is the fact that people tend to misremember the brand name, MailChimp. Perhaps its partly due to the name being an offbeat mishmash of words (Serial fans might remember ‘MailKimp’ as a familiar case in point) or maybe its due to lack of brand awareness. Whatever the reason, MailChimp took its lemon of a problem and juiced it into some pretty trippy advertising lemonade.
Through creativity, humor, cleverness and some seriously stunning art direction, MailChimp transformed an obstacle into an engine to get people unknowingly introduced to and acquainted with its brand. MailChimp’s agency partner came up with nine “fake” brands and products—fully equipped with logos, social media accounts, sound tracks, music videos, packaging, websites and more—with names that are all a play on “MailChimp”.
To put it plainly:
— Ryan (@ClassicSnyder) February 21, 2017
The brands MailChimp dreamed up cover lots of ground, spanning a spectrum of industries that includes:
Each execution is promoted with every last detail in mind. They look real, sound real and even taste real, but MailChimp is the hidden easter egg behind each.
These projects have been picked up and featured by Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, screened in movie theaters, handed out in bars and plastered on billboards. The collaborations with actual artists and tastemakers leads you on the ultimate advertising adventure that will have you questioning what’s real and what’s just really cool.
While this elaborate go big or go home campaign style has entertained and inspired some, it’s left others scratching their heads. Regardless of the downers out there, the dedication to the creative is admirable and I wholeheartedly believe the reward of getting people talking and questioning and searching far outweighs the risk of turning off a few.
MailChimp is demonstrating the best form of risk taking with its ‘Did You Mean?’ campaign—one that is wild but true to the brand’s core of freedom and individuality.
Watch more about the creation of this delightfully absurd campaign here: