Mail... Kimp? Podcast Ad Wins Hearts and Minds
Are you an Adnan truther? Or was it totally Jay that did it? Or maybe you've got absolutely no idea what I'm talking about? It's fair to be confused, if you aren't listening to the new smash hit podcast "Serial," from the team behind NPR's "This American Life."
No matter who you believe killed Hae Min Lee on Jan. 13, 1999, if you've heard any episode of the criminally addicting podcast, then you've probably also heard the adorable pre-roll advertisement from email marketing solution provider MailChimp, which features several real people reading a script. One of the readers—a young girl, by the sound of it—flubs the line and says "Mail... Kimp?" apparently not knowing how to pronounce "chimp," yet.
In the rabid fan community that surrounds, it only took four or five episodes for "Mail Kimp Girl" to develop her own entourage of in-jokes and followers, with many (myself included) lightheartedly joking that "Mail Kimp did it." Listen to the ad here.
While it all seemed to be just fun and games (the ad, not the podcast or murder mystery), MailChimp's ad—and the community reaction to it—prove a critical point: advertising doesn't have to be hated (see: Millennials and AdBlock). Even unintentionally, MailChimp has built a relationship with users and non-users alike, casting a fun and likeable light on their brand presence.
Even if the embracing of "Mail Kimp Girl" does little to nothing in terms of sales or moving the needle—as an interview with MailChimp's Director of Marketing reveals—they're increasing brand awareness, completely organically. And though MailChimp's ad in the next season of Serial might not melt hearts (or become a suspect in an unsolved murder case), there are definitely a lot of people who are on the edge of their seats to see what they come up with.