Mojo Supermarket brings in clients by breaking the rules
The mojo is really working at this 12-person indie, which more than doubled revenue in 2020 and is now reeling in some household-name clients like Match and The Truth Initiative.
The year didn’t start out that way, however. In fact, business had stalled so much that Mo Said, the agency’s founder, was considering closing up shop in April to take a job as a chief creative officer at a major agency. It was a phone call that changed his mind.
In an effort to call attention to his agency and at the same time help an important social cause, Said was inspired the month before to “hack” the Oscars. The idea was to draw attention to the lack of female-directed films being honored by taking over the event’s digital stream, replacing commercials with actual clips from women-directed movies. The budget: zero. The payoff: $1 million in media attention. When that phone rang in April, it was a new client drawn in by the effort, called #GiveHerABreak.
Business followed from Rhythm, Savage X Fenty, Girls Who Code, Amazon, Kraft Heinz and Netflix. Mojo’s win/pitch rate last year was 100%.
“During a year that exposed the fragility of the industry, our worst time became our best,” said Mojo in its entry. “We’re bigger, better and more focused than ever to continue breaking shit than ever before.”
Mojo broke shit for Rihanna-backed Savage X Fenty by anticipating that its lingerie fashion show on Instagram would be censored. “We hacked Instagram’s ‘sensitive content’ UX and put our campaign behind warnings of our own. “These messages let people know that the show contains individuals that are too loud, too thicc, too unapologetic and too savage for Instagram’s standards. Instead of waiting for our content to get censored by the internet, we censored it ourselves,” said the agency. Its hashtag #SavageNotSorry was used 10,000 times in five days and was taken up by celebrities including Normani, Paris Hilton, Irina Shayk, Rico Nasty, Nazani.
For Girls Who Code, Mojo showed the world what would happen if women didn’t: Zoom fails, Gmail turns to Qmail, a Lizzo Instagram post goes haywire. The tagline: “If girls didn’t code, the world would notice.” The video got 2 million views, including from influencers like Chelsea Clinton, America Ferraro and Billie Jean King.
The agency’s effort for Adidas featured Fernando Tatis Jr., the San Diego Padres shortstop known for his outrageous moves. The spot, which dovetailed with Tatis being passed over for the 2020 MVP award, was themed “Baseball is dead. Long live baseball” and showed diehard fans of the sport bemoaning his hot dogging and “disrespectful” behavior. It was a gutsy play for a company that sells baseball equipment, but it got a lot of attention.
“They’re unwritten rules,” says a woman in the spot. “But they are still rules.”
And Mojo is still breaking them.