ATLANTA/LONDON: Mailchimp, the B2B online marketing platform, increased brand awareness and affinity while successfully differentiating itself from rivals by exploring the possibilities that arose from a mistake.

A mispronunciation of the company name during a podcast ad was the creative spark for its award-winning Did You Mean MailChimp? campaign.

“It became our creative device,” Taylor Hines, Senior Communications Strategist at Droga5, explained to WARC. “MailChimp sponsors a bunch of podcasts and when they said MailKimp instead of MailChimp it became this little viral sensation.

“I can’t think of another brand that memed into misinterpretation – it was perfect for the company and its consumer.” (For more read WARC’s exclusive report: How MailChimp's fake brands made real business sense.)

Content was developed around a series of mispronunciations, including MaleCrimp, a site devoted to men who crimp their hair, which was picked up by Vogue and the The New Yorker.

Other iterations included WhaleSynth, a whale noise app, NailChamp, a website rewarding imaginative nail art, beauty treatment SnailPrimp and a snack food, FailChips.

Earned media played a major part in the campaign’s success. “People wanted to talk about it and share it instead of making it too much about the brand,” said Hines.

But it was also doing its job in pushing up awareness and building affinity: 85% of people had something positive to say about it and 70% said it gave them a better sense of MailChimp's personality, she claimed.

Some 334m people were reached in total and they typically spent 1.5-2 times longer with the content than on average. Further, MailChimp was seen as inspiring, authentic and innovative and, crucially, different from other providers in its category.

Since Did You Mean MailChimp? two subsequent campaigns have kept the same tone while drilling down into more specific features offered by the service.

Sourced from WARC