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Why MailChimp's Insane Fake Ad Campaign Paid Off

The company's 'Did You Mean MailChimp?' helped the email marketing platform reach 334 million people.

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This story appears in the June 2017 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Did you recently pick up a free bag of FailChips at your local convenience store? See a preview for an art-house film called KaleLimp? Or did you hear about Blood Orange's latest music collaboration, VeilHymn?

Brian Stauffer

If you answered yes, then you were sucked into the weird and wonderful "Did You Mean ?" campaign. MailChimp, the email platform, created it over the course of a year in partnership with agency Droga5. The idea, inspired by a 2014 advertisement on the Serial podcast where the 's name was mispronounced (remember the little kid who said "Mail Kimp"?), was to promote nine sham products, trends or pieces of content that rhymed with MailChimp, and then target them at different subcultures within the small to medium-size businesses that MailChimp courts. Then the brand would sit back as curious consumers were sucked into an internet rabbit hole that, in time, led back to MailChimp's landing page.

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