The only time the client said, “Make the logo smaller!”

Last week we shared the insights from, “Meet Graham” the campaign which picked up the Cyber Grand Prix at Cannes. Journalist and content marketing veteran Hando Sinisalu spoke to the agency how they managed to combine data and creativity to make this unique road safety campaign work. 

Hando will join international digital experts including Kyoko Yonezawa, Creative Technologist and a member of Dentsu Lab Tokyo and Scott Gray, Experience Director, Mirum South Africa who will be discussing these and other interesting award winning case studies at the Best of Global Digital Marketing Conference this August 14th. To find out more about the event click here.

This week Hando interviews the creative minds behind the Cannes Lions 2017 Cyber Grand Prix winning “Did you mean MailChimp” campaign. 

“It’ s quite rare to see a B2B marketing case study winning GrandPrix in Cannes. But legendary American digital agency Droga5 managed to achieve this with their work for email marketing company MailChimp. Creativity in B2B digital marketing will be discussed in more detail at The Best of Global Digital event on August 14th,” Hando shared.

More on his Hando’s interview and the campaign case study below:

About MailChimp

MailChimp is a marketing automation platform and an email marketing service and a trading name of its operator, Rocket Science Group, an American company founded in 2001. MailChimp began as a paid service and added a freemium option in 2009. Within a year its user base had grown from 85,000 to 450,000. By June 2014, it was sending over 10 billion emails per month on behalf of its users.

The Brief

MailChimp is quite popular in the USA, but not a household name. It was their first major advertising campaign, and they chose to work with Droga5, one of the most awarded agencies in the US. They wanted to get their name out, to be more public and get people to know their company. Their clientele is mainly the creative community, the goal of the campaign was to raise the awareness and increase the liking of the brand among the creative class.

Creative execution

The campaign invented the names:




Click on the names to view the other names they created FailChips, SnailPrimp, JailBlimp, WhaleSynth, and included all sorts of wacky ads and activations paid off with the line “Did You Mean MailChimp?” 

The work was originally inspired by the girl who mispronounced MailChimp as “MailKimp” in the introduction to the MailChimp- sponsored podcast “Serial” in 2014.

Don Shelford, Group Creative Director of Droga5:

“Their only branding activities so far were sponsorships for podcasts. In sponsorships, they became somewhat popular as they intentionally mispronounced their name. It was such kind of fun and silly thing to do and people kind of love them for that – being a sponsor and fooling around about their name. This creative and fun attitude created the basis of the campaign. 

It was constructed as a very complex search campaign. There was purposely no branding at all – only small monkey head

. The intention was to mix things that were intriguing or humorous enough to make people Google it. So, when the people were searching for it, then they came up leading them to MailChimp. We bought paid search with all these fake names. So, if you googled KaleLimp or anything that sounds like MailChimp you will end up there. All keywords were interlinked and directed to MailChimp. But through that campaign, MailChimp crawled up in the search list and in the end, Google suggested: “did you mean MailChimp?”. The more people were intrigued about the search results, the more they begin to know about MailChimp.”


– HIGH (44%) campaign awareness (vs. 40% benchmark)

– 1.5-2x MORE time spent with our content than average

– 2-3x HIGHER  Social engagement rates than average

– Metrics smashed the B2B/Tech category, stacking up to that of an entertainment brand

– 83% positive social sentiment

– 3.3x more social buzz for the MailChimp brand once the campaign was revealed

– 67M searches for products/musicians/hairstyles etc that never existed before

– 334M people reached in total


Don Shelford, Group Creative Director of Droga5:

“It was brave to use the lack of branding approach. The thought that if we give people something to enjoy we don’t have to be empty handed with credit – they will give us that credit. We didn’t ask much for return, a very unselfish way to do a campaign. But it needs a lot of guts to do that because it’s expensive to put money on trust that people will like it.

That actually makes people talk about them even more. It’s kind of ‘anti-sponsorship sponsorship’.”

Interview with Don Shelford, Group Creative Director of Droga5

Why did you decide to target “creative class” with this campaign?

We bet on that only very specific people will get genuinely interested – very curious and creative class of people. 

The purchase behaviour of business owners who decide about what e-mail marketing solution to buy is following: they ask their creative friends what would be the best e-mail marketing platform.  So basically, we were mostly targeting possible ‘influencers’. 

The beauty of this campaign was that it became a part of popular culture which is difficult task to achieve. Did you have any kind of pre-testing proofing whether that idea would work at all?

Honestly, there was no testing at all. It was just intuition. We did some research what kind of things would be popular for example on Instagram. We noticed that finger nail art was popular, so, for example, NailChamp had this kind of potential. In the music we tried to bind it with what was popular. But there was no hard testing or research group studies before that.

Was there anything that went wrong or you didn’t expect? Any surprises?

None of us would’ve guessed that one of the most popular would be NailChamp, a silly little thing, but it was hugely popular and had very a enthusiastic following. We thought that films that were very beautiful would be the most popular. WhaleSynth was very popular among musicians, and it was relatively cheap to make compared to films. People made covers of the MailShrimp song and it was definitely catchy. 

Most fun part of the whole campaign was the process of work. It was kind of opposite relationship between the client and the agency, because the client asked for something completely different from usual p
ractice: they were constantly asking for making the logo smaller. 

We almost got into an argument with that request. And even for the FailChip they wanted to completely get rid of the logo, but finally we agreed to put it on the corner of the package which will be torn away when opening the package. That was the compromise. So, in that case the agency was negotiating with the client to put their logo onto things!

Want to glean more insights off Hando and hear more award winning digital work this August 14th? Click here to find out more on the ‘Best of Global Digital Marketing Conference’ or contact Ruby at 03-77262588 or [email protected]



For the seventh year running, we are bringing back the famous Best of Global Digital Marketing Conference to KL with a special focus on Content Marketing this year. Unique case-study based learning, as our team monitors over 200 digital marketing award shows across the globe and interviews the winners. Based on this extensive work, we produce in-depth case studies.

Speakers with digital domain expertise:
• Hando Sinisalu, CEO of Best Marketing International
• Kyoko Yonezawa, Creative Technologist and member of Dentsu Lab Tokyo
• Scott Gray, Experience Director, Mirum South Africa

Global Case Studies include:
BANKING & INSURANCE: Compare The Market, Advocards, Allianz, Ally Bank, Barclays….
TECHNOLOGY & STARTUPS: Hubspot, Pipedrive, MoveHub….
AUTOMOTIVE: Volkswagen, Volvo, Nissan, etc FMCG: Ariel, Unilever, Snickers…
RETAIL: McDonald’s, Harvey Nichols, Zalando….
TRAVEL & TOURISM: Qatar Airways, Transavia, Finland Tourism, Sweden Tourism, KLM…

Each best practice case study is presented based on…
Business problem: What is the market situation? Who are the competitors? What is the target audience? What are the main business/marketing challenges? What are the goals?
Solutions: What are the consumer insights? What was the creative strategy? What was the media strategy? What were the results of the campaign?
Lessons: What other marketers from other countries/other business sectors could learn from this case study? What are the main mistakes to avoid?

The Best of Global Digital Marketing Conference has won popularity in more than 30 cities around the world from Singapore, Moscow, Jakarta, Istanbul to Amsterdam, Johannesburg, Prague, Shanghai, Seoul, etc.

Date: 14 August, 2017 (Thursday)

Venue: Sime Darby Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur.

Time: 8.30am – 5.00pm

Book your seats early! Call Ruby on 03-77262588 or [email protected]


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The APPIES is an annual event that presents a rare opportunity for creative, media, digital and marketing agencies or brands to present their best campaigns to the industry.

This is the only event where Live Presentations meets Live Judging.

Similar to TED Talks, The APPIES is the chance for great presenters with outstanding work to show it off to some of the industry’s most important industry leaders.

This year’s winners will receive Gold, Silver or Bronze trophies for 21 categories, and 6 special Best of Best categories (red trophies) that require no submissions!

Campaign entries must have run between June 2023 to May 2024

Submissions Deadline
30th June 2024

APPIES Festival – Judging & Presentations
11th – 12th July 2024 (Malaysia)


Download Event PDF
Submit Entries Here

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