What Do Snail Facials and Male Crimping Have in Common? They’re Part of a MailChimp Campaign

The ambitious plan comes together

MailChimp created a variety of campaigns that play off its name.

If, in recent months, you’ve come across some weird trends, like dudes crimping their hair during New York Fashion Week or men and women getting anti-aging facials using snail products, and you had absolutely no idea what was going on, there’s finally an answer for you.

It’s all been part of a wacky campaign from MailChimp Droga5 and media agency PHD, “Did You Mean MailChimp?” The whole idea for the campaign kicked off thanks to the now popular ad that ran on the podcast Serial where a woman famously mispronounces the word MailChimp. That got the team at Droga5 thinking … what are some other weird things that sound like MailChimp, but aren’t MailChimp?

Earlier this year, MailChimp kicked off the campaign with three bizarre, but equally mesmerizing, short films: MailShrimp, JailBlimp and KaleLimp. If you haven’t had a chance to check those out, now would be a good time to get caught up.

Following the debut of the three films, the brand began rolling out a number of other components to the campaign that to an outsider might all seem like random trends or products. For those who looked closely, they might have discovered that everything was in fact connected.

“We had already created a pretty successful brand on our own and had never done anything nearly this big, but we wanted the work we did with Droga5 to feel like a MailChimp thing on a much bigger stage. We also wanted to do something totally original that couldn’t be copied, which is probably a thing a lot of clients say to their agencies, but we really held their feet to the fire,” Mark DiCristina, senior director of brand marketing for MailChimp, said.

Take for example a line of potato chips that some New Yorkers might have come across in bodegas or grocery stores called FailChips. The concept was to take the idea of all of those crumbly pieces of potato chip that you find at the bottom of a bag of chips and fill an entire bag with those. Anyone who looked closely enough at the website or the packaging may have noticed the MailChimp monkey printed on the upper right hand corner of the bag of chips.

“Everything that we’ve done features the MailChimp logo, the MailChimp monkey Freddie. Everything has been invented in such a way that we are leading people through that process,” Neil Heymann, executive creative director at Droga5 said. “We wanted to go where the audience is and create something interesting within those cultural spaces.”

Take MaleCrimp, for example. The agency and MailChimp wanted to see if they could take some silly hair trend and make it relevant in today’s culture. The brand teamed up with Paper Magazine around the time of New York Fashion Week. During that week the magazine published a photo story online called “Cool Kids Crimp.” It featured an image of a cooly-dressed man with his hair freshly crimped and a link to the Tumblr MaleCrimp page.

Another rather ambitious component of the campaign was “VeilHymn.” Singer Dev Hynes, known by many as Blood Orange, and Starchild & the New Romantic’s Bryndon Cook teamed up to form the musical duo Veil Hymn. The duo’s first song, Hymn, included a track that was covered by a number of publications including Rolling Stone and Pitchfork and a music video.

If you looked carefully enough at each of the websites, like www.whalesynth.com, you would see the recognizable MailChimp logo right next to the URL. The idea was to spark curiosity with each of the weird and wacky activations, like those anti-aging facials done with snail products. When someone searches any of the terms online it would automatically ask them if they meant to search for MailChimp.

Overall, MailChimp put out eight executions for the campaign with help from media agency PHD.

Here’s a wrap up video from the brand that features all the different components of the campaign and ties everything together.


Client: MailChimp
Agency Droga5 NY
Media Agency PHD

Creative Chairman David Droga
Chief Creative Officer Ted Royer
Executive Creative Director Neil Heymann
Group Creative Director Don Shelford
Senior Copywriter Julie Matheny
Senior Art Director Matt Rogers
Copywriter Ryan Snyder
Art Director Katie Willis
Design Director Devin Croda
Senior Designer Nate Moore
Experience Design Director Daniel Perlin
Junior Experience Designer James Garvey
Chief Creation Officer Sally-Ann Dale
Director of Interactive Production Niklas Lindstrom
Associate Director of Interactive Production Justin Durazzo
Executive Producer, Experiential Bo Djogo
Senior Producer, Interactive Leo Seeley
Producers Interactive Grace Wang, Morgan Mendel
Integrated Producer Riely Clough
Director of Art Production Cliff Lewis
Executive Producer, Art Julia Menassa
Producer, Art Nichole Katsikas, Frannie Schultz
Co-Directors of Film Production Jesse Brihn, Bryan Litman
Senior Producer, Film Anders Hedberg
Associate Producer, Film Isabella Lebovitz
Music Supervisors Ryan Barkan, Mike Ladman
Senior Editor Matt Badger
Audio Mixer Jesse Peterson
Sr Integrated Production Business Managers Denise Klapp, Tom Vendittelli
Director of Print Services Rob Lugo
Senior Producer, Print Alyssa Dolman
Retouching Studio Manager Michelle Leedy
Graphics Studio Manager Virginia Vargas
Quality Control Manager Lisa Bishai
Quality Control Susanne Johansson
Retouching Coordinator Michael Mockler
Retouchers Pete Gibson, John Ciambriello, Mike Vorassi, Shari Alexander,  Natasha Kaser, John Clendenen
Chief Strategy Officer Jonny Bauer
Co-Head of Strategy Colm Murphy
Strategy Director Katie Coane
Senior Strategist Justin Pak
Strategist Midori McSwain
Senior Communications Strategist Elsa Stahura
Senior Communications Strategist Taylor Hines
Data Strategy Director Lily Ng, Bethany Bengtson
Data Strategist Kaveri Gautam
Chief Operating Officer Susie Nam
Executive Group Director Julian Cheevers
Group Account Director Matt Ahumada
Account Director Pat Rowley
Account Supervisor Josh Freeland
Associate Account Manager CamilleCheeks-Lomax
Global Head of PR Marianne Stefanowicz
PR Manager Danny Hernandez
PR Coordinator Ahrim Nam
Head of Project Management Katia Billings
Project Managers Leslie Alexander
Counsel Sarah Fox
Associate Counsel Zach Werner

Client MailChimp
CMO Tom Klein
VP of Marketing Sean Cook
Sr Director of Brand Marketing Mark DiCristina
Sr Director of Design Todd Dominey
Director of Marketing Operations Amy Sturgill
Senior Marketing Manager Palmer Houchins

Media Agency PHD
Strategy Director Ji Kim
Director, Marketing Sciences Phil D’Addio
Associate Strategy Director Alex Arcuri
Associate Director Digital Investment Tina Qu

Interactive Production Company Resn

PR Agency RSquared
PR Consultant Alison Voetsch

Mood Films
Production Company Riff Raff Films & The Directors Bureau
Director The Sacred Egg
DOP Ben Todd
1st Assistant Director Eric Kaskens
Producer Jane Tredget
Production Design Petr Kunc
Production Service Unit Sofa
Editorial Big Chop
Editor Sam Bould
Movie Poster Photography JUCO
Artist Representation Billy Diesel @ Art & Motion
Post Production MPC
VFX Supervisor Alex Lovejoy
Producer Louise Unwin
Music Bimbi by Joy Boy.
Additional Arrangement by Found Objects (JailBlimp)
Plantasia by Mort Garson (KaleLimp)
Ricall (MailShrimp)
Sound Factory
Mixer Jon Clarke
Interactive Production Company Resn

VeilHymn (Song +Video)
Artists Devonte Hynes, Bryndon Cook
Record Company Domino Records
Music Video Production Company Strangelove
DOP Jackson Hunt
Executive Producer Melinda Nugent
Executive Producer Sara Greco
Line Producer Laure Salgon
Conform/VFX The Artery VFX
Colour MPC London
Colourist Houmam
Music Video Director Malia James
Music Video Editor Mandy Brown
Cover Art Photography JUCO
Artist Representation Billy Diesel @ Art & Motion
Interactive Production Company Resn

Interactive Production Company Resn
Product Development MADE
Photography Paul McGeiver

Event Production Company The Uprising Creative
Interactive Production Company Resn



Interactive Production Company Resn
Promotional Photography JUCO
Artist Representation Billy Diesel @ Art & Motion

Interactive Production CompanyResn
Photographer PaulMcGeiver

Inception Mural
Illustrator Brosmind
Artist Representation Liz Leavitt @ Levine/Leavitt

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