MailChimp and Serial, A Match Made In Internet Heaven

By it’s very nature, advertising is often a two-party ordeal. Meaning, when a brand wants to advertise a new product or build awareness, they’ll need to host said ad on a website, television show, or even Twitter. This reason alone makes it incredibly important for companies to align themselves with the right platform which will best serve them. And for many brands, podcasts are providing this stage. This “new media” avenue allows listeners to pick and choose which podcasts they subscribe to, find new ones, and even discover new products related to the topic being discussed. Tech startups have long taken out ads on podcasts focused on technology and geek culture, for instance, as a way to grow awareness. Now MailChimp, an email delivery service, has proven that simply aligning themselves with a well-listened podcast can have the same effect, even if the two messages aren’t clearly similar.

By now you’ve no doubt heard about the latest breakaway hit podcast “Serial,” a real-life crime drama spread out over multiple episodes and spun-off from another hit podcast and public radio show “This American Life.” The show first premiered in September, but since it’s beginning it’s earned high praise and high downloads in only a few short months. The show’s host and executive producer Sarah Koenig spends each episode unravelling a complicated murder of a Baltimore high school student in 1999, interviewing the teenagers involved and the victims accused killer, Adnan Syed. Before every episode, before Koenig attempts to make sense of cell tower records or talks to the key witness about his whereabouts on the day of the killing, there is a brief, 20-second ad for MailChimp.The ad itself has also earned its share of praise as a well thought out and intimate ad wherein multiple, everyday people take turns reading the company’s copy. One woman even struggles to pronounce “MailChimp,” a slight stumble which has turned into it’s own meme. (You can search Twitter for the word “MailKimp” to find fans talking about the show.)

In an interview with Quartz, MailChimp’s marketing director Mark DiCristina explained the origins of the ad and said they took a chance on Serial hoping to build awareness for the brand.

“This time of year for us, there’s generally a surge in the amount of email people send, the amount of people signing up for MailChimp,” DiCristina said. “That’s kind of an organic increase for us. We didn’t expect the ad itself to translate into people signing up for sending with MailChimp.”

At first glance, Mail Chimp might not seem like the sort of product that fans of an extended real life crime drama/podcast would be in the market for. Yet by taking a chance on a new podcast (albeit one with quite the respectable pedigree) MailChimp was able to align themselves with a successful platform and earn a near-viral campaign that has people talking about the brand in a new and positive way. DiCristina even said as much in his interview with Quartz, positing that the level of excitement for the show is likely rubbing off on his brand. By aligning themselves with a successful show, MailChimp, in turn, also appears successful.

When your brand begins to look for new marketing platforms, it’s important to consider the company you keep. Your marketing team must be intentional about where their ads will be seen and how they’ll be received, but it’s just as important to partner with the right team. IntelliBright’s experienced online marketing team not only know how to bring more people to your company through perfectly executed online marketing strategies, they’re also a trusted partner to many successful clients who have seen their sales numbers dramatically increase as a direct result of the partnership. Some clients have even reported seeing as much as a 400% increase in quality lead generation in only a few months of selecting IntelliBright as their online marketing partner. If you’re ready to boost your brand awareness, improve your online reputation, and increase sales, contact IntelliBright today, and start benefiting from our proven click-to-close online marketing strategy.