Ad Nut
Jan 24, 2017

MailChimp delivers gorgeously absurdist campaign

MailShrimp? JailBlimp? KaleLimp? Bizarre films by Droga5 don't mention the brand.

These three films (above and below), which will run online and in US cinemas, do not contain the MailChimp brand name or anything at all about the company's product (an online email marketing tool). Continuing the subterfuge, each film appears on its own YouTube channel and has its own website, made to look like it's an actual film (here's the site for MailShrimp). Only a very determined searcher might uncover the identity of the client via the teeny-tiny links to the website terms and privacy policy, at the very bottom of the websites, which lead to a page on the MailChimp website.

So what's going on here? The campaign appears to be a droll followup to an earlier MailChimp audio campaign that played on the popular podcast Serial. MailChimp's ad on that podcast took the form of people on the street talking about whether they'd heard of MailChimp, and one young woman's mispronunciation of the brand name (hear it here) was so memorably odd that it became a sensation in itself as the podcast grew more popular. The result? Incalculable media (and meme) value for the company.

So Droga5 has apparently convinced its client that since something weird worked once, it could work again.

Ad Nut's not so sure about the strategy. The most popular of the videos has less than 7,000 views over about 10 days, and the scheme hasn't generated much buzz yet beyond advertising trades like Campaign. But the films themselves, with their Wes Anderson vibe, are certainly visually appealing, and maybe the WTF factor will draw a crowd eventually.

Ad Nut thanks the ad nuts at Campaign US, who covered this work first and used the phrase "gorgeously absurdist" in their headline. Ad Nut could not top that. The credits on the end of each film, by the way, are the actual creative credits for the campaign.

Update, 23 February: The companies have released a video that details some of the later elements of the campaign:

Ad NutAd Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for some unknown reason has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over the world and presents them for your viewing pleasure. Because Ad Nut loves you.

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