What We Think


What’s In A Name? A Marketing Opportunity.

MailChimp is a pretty familiar tool to most, with over 15 million using their email marketing services worldwide.[1] Despite its popularity and a name that is relatively easy to pronounce (really, though – imagine being named Iulia), the folks at MailChimp apparently had a history of people mispronouncing the service. So, did they see this as a marketing opportunity to release a campaign with a pronunciation guide to help educate the masses? Not quite.


That’s right. An entire campaign embracing the mispronunciation. Droga, the studio behind the piece, writes on their website, “instead of the expected brand campaign, the company created an ecosystem of additive, artful and playful experiences.”[2]. The Did You Mean MailChimp Campaign pieces include video ads, custom domains and websites, and even short films – just to name a few. It’s loud, it’s humorous, and even playfully informative. Most of all — it’s MailChimp.

This approach won’t necessarily work for everyone, but there are some key takeaways one can learn from this:

1. Tap into a unique (maybe even funny) aspect of your company narrative. 

MailChimp, rather than just correcting the mispronunciation phenomena surrounding its name (or ignoring it and hoping it went away), highlighted the unique ways all of their customers interpret their company.

2. Marry your brand message and tone to the medium(s) you will use.

MailChimp has always had a playful brand, so it’s no wonder that for this campaign they fused the slight absurdity of their messaging with unique platforms. Nothing says playful absurdity like several short films screened in select theaters.

3. Never miss an opportunity to reinforce your brand identity.

The entire Did You Mean MailChimp campaign just felt like MailChimp. They paired bright, vibrant visuals with a tone that was in line with MailChimp’s language throughout their site.

The success of this campaign boiled down to one thing for me — the campaign reflected MailChimp’s service and customer base. The various websites and fake business and movies reflects some of the diversity of those who use MailChimp’s email marketing service. Second, the color and visuals supported the messaging by conveying a sense of ease – a big promise with their platform.

A  playful campaign like this can be very tempting to a lot of companies, but that doesn’t make it the right approach for everyone. Remember that clients do not revisit or recommend brands that feel inauthentic. So, when approaching your next brand campaign, carefully consider how the different components of your brand — from the voice, to the visual elements, to the formats it takes — interact with one another. You might learn more about your brand than you expected.



p.s. Check out more of the campaign on MailChimp’s website.




[1] mailchimp.com/about

[2] droga5.com/work/did-you-mean-mailchimp

[3] thinkbonfire.com/blog/brand-authenticity-data-infographic

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