Any fan of the popular podcast Serial is, by now, probably familiar with email marketing company MailChimp thanks to its now-famous ad that played each week on that program.
For those not familiar with the ad, a girl mispronounces the name of the company, mistaking "chimp" for "kimp." For its first major advertising campaign, via Droga5, MailChimp decided to say hello to the world by capitalizing on the success of that ad.
Three new 60-second spots have titles that all sound kind of like MailChimp, but aren't quite the same—like MailShrimp (more on that later). The unbranded spots are crafted as fake ads for weird movies. They point to websites for the movies at the end (like MailShrimpFilm.com).
The three spots, produced by Riff Raff Films and directed by The Sacred Egg, are tied to a larger campaign for MailChimp, which will roll out over the next few weeks. Droga5 handled creative for the campaign, titled "Did You Mean...?" It's the agency's first work for the brand since winning the account last year.
The first film, MailShrimp, opens on a young mail boy with his back to the camera. He's sitting off in the distance, and as soulful music kicks in, the shot zooms in on the boy. You think the story is about a boy's dream to become a great mailman, but as the shot closes in on him, it becomes more clear it isn't really about him at all.
Yeah, that's right. The story is about a singing shrimp inside a shrimp sandwich that is preparing itself for it's unavoidable future inside the boy's stomach. It's all hilariously ridiculous, from the awkward moment with the creepy bald man to the moment our brave protagonaist (the shrimp) meets his fate and finally becomes a mail shrimp.
Then there's the oddly satisfying, but equally disturbing, KaleLimp, which tells the story of a husband and wife eating out at a strangely empty restaurant. They place an order of "KaleLimp" with their waiter, and honestly, it's probably not even close to what you'd expect it to be.
Once again, Droga5 and company take viewiers into a bizarre universe, where dogs are made out of kale and leaves from their vegetable fur are then served to hungry diners. But somehow it remains delightfully entertaining.
The final film, JailBlimp, takes place at a young girl's birthday party. There's a blimp-shaped piñata floating in the air that the young girl approaches, stick in hand, ready to smash open. But when she begins to crack that sucker open, something unexpected happens.
Bet you didn't see that one coming.
None of the stories make any logical sense. Each is ridiculous in its own way, but equally funny and charming, with a style reminiscent of Wes Anderson. But the three films definitely help MailChimp accomplish its mission with its first major ad campaign. For a brand looking to just say hello to the world and introduce its charm and creativity, these playful spots capture that character nicely.
The spots will begin airing in select theaters in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Atlanta today and will run on TV beginning Feb. 20.
Stay tuned over the next few weeks for what promises to be even more wacky components to the MailChimp campaign.