Mailchimp's animated brand campaign celebrates the spirit of small biz owners

R/GA teamed with Buck, Kishi Bashi on new push

Published On
Sep 01, 2020

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Throughout the pandemic, Mailchimp  has been there to support startups and small business owners. After SXSW was canceled this year, the company gave a home to the festival’s short films. Earlier this summer, the company also released its own series of documentary shorts profiling essential workers. Now, Mailchimp is celebrating the spirit of small companies in an uplifting animated brand campaign. 

R/GA was behind the vibrant new ad, which features lively, hand-drawn-style animation from Buck and a folksy soundtrack from multi-instrumentalist and producer Kishi Bashi. Titled “Us,” it was produced entirely in quarantine and features character illustrations inspired by real Mailchimp small businesses, including podcasters, bartenders, gym owners, writers, chefs and more. They all come together to highlight how the tenacity and dreams of small biz owners will endure no matter what obstacles they encounter. 

“You’ll pick yourself up and go again,” the voiceover says. “Who you’re meant to be you’ll be. Because you’re never going to stop and neither will we.”

The campaign evolved during the pandemic and comes from a place of empathy—Mailchimp, too, had been a small business during the 2008 recession. The effort will also include a full digital campaign rolling out this month. 

“From supporting short films affected by a canceled SXSW, to relief efforts for SMBs, and creating a docu-series on essential workers—Mailchimp’s been dedicated to supporting our community in 2020,” said Michael Mitchell, Mailchimp director of brand marketing in a statement. “Our brand campaign continues that support. It elevates characters inspired by our real small business customers, and makes them the heroes of a story that envisions light at the end of the tunnel.” 

Mailchimp does not have an agency of record but has been working with R/GA on retainer on a number of projects. On Mailchimp's global streaming platform Maiilchimp Presents, the company has co-produced series with partners including VICE, Caviar, Scout Productions, WME and Little Everywhere. Later this fall, the company will be debuting a CSR campaign to give home to creatives, “Big Change Starts Small,” in partnership with creative agency Kin.