How to promote your brand without any branding…
We Uber home, we Tinder on a Tuesday night – brand names are verbs in today’s lexicon, and it’s getting to a point where logos are becoming redundant. Which is why MailChimp’s latest campaign was so refreshing – in a market where your name is your entire brand, being willing to get it wrong on purpose is a risk.
In a daring move to bank on their consumer’s curiosity (and relying on them getting the ‘MailKimp’ joke from their 2014 audio ad) their 2017 multi-channel campaign ‘Did you mean MailChimp?’ was made up of nine mysterious projects that sounded a bit like MailChimp, but not quite.
The surreal range of activations covered film, fashion, food, and beauty. There’s MailShrimp, a Wes Anderson style film featuring a singing prawn sandwich; VeilHymn, a supergroup fronted by Dev Hynes, which released a real single and music video; and they even launched a pre-crushed packet of crisps called FailChips among others. But what ties the nine together is that they all directed you to MailChimp’s website. This creative SEO strategy owned the search terms by cleverly utilising Google’s ‘Did you mean…’ algorithm. So that when people searched for any of the weird names, they were asked if they actually meant to search for ‘MailChimp’.
It’s exciting to see a brand be so daring and original with their marketing, even if it does lead to a few scratched heads before you realise what it’s all about. And there seems to be a trend for brands making their consumers work for that ‘Ahhh I get it’ sweet spot: just look at Heinz running the very meta Don Draper-conceived billboard ads, originally pitched in the show Mad Men. Inherently though, this campaign advertises MailChimp’s purpose – to help brands deliver bold email marketing campaigns that stop people in their tracks – by showing they can do it too.