work we like: mailchimp’s did you mean?

if you listened to the first season of the podcast serial, chances are you heard their infamous mailchimp intro ad, in which people from around the world attempt (and sometimes fail) to pronounce the word ‘mailchimp.’ this simple ad became something of an inside joke that spread like wildfire— and mailchimp is capitalizing on their newfound cult status with their new campaign, “did you mean…”

sometimes, the best solution is the most obvious one. and mailchimp’s new campaign creatively seizes the ‘obvious’ and turns it into a pretty powerful brand message. through a variety of ads for fake businesses that rhyme with ‘mailchimp’— nailchamp, mailcrimp, jailblimb, snailprimp, etc— they acknowledge the viral joke that their name has become, and really take measured, thoughtful, and ultimately pretty hilarious steps to own that joke and use it to tell their story.

what’s a little more subtle (yet just as meaningful) is how this campaign also highlights mailchimp’s mission— their email marketing service champions the needs of the small business underdog in both its price and user-friendliness. a once-failed e-greetings service, mailchimp’s founders often joke that they stumbled into email marketing; they had already built the parts for a different model, and after some trial and error they realized that they had accidentally created a great platform for email marketing services. they understand the sometimes-haphazard evolution of small businesses, and serve as examples of how to find yourself (and own that) as a business. their commitment to supporting brand storytelling also ripples out beyond their service into their backing of endeavors like the emerging women’s conference, creative mornings, and of course, the smash-hit podcast serial.

so, this campaign, beyond being a truly interesting version of ‘taking a joke,’ becomes a poignant way of owning your brand, celebrating your individual story (and commitment to telling everyone else’s story, too), and having a little fun while you’re at it. check out some of the promo videos they created for fake small businesses below.