Do You Have a 'Clustomer' Problem? Mailchimp Says It Can Help

Bounce that ball of confusion out the door

Marketers, behold the dreaded "Clustomer" effect and cower in your cubicles!

Intuit Mailchimp rolls out an exceedingly large and fleshy visual metaphor today in a global campaign developed by in-house agency Wink Creative and Pretty Bird director Calmatic.

Ads feature a huge, tangled ball of customers, realized, for the most part, through practical means rather than CGI. It's an impressively bonkers achievement, intended to illustrate how the email solutions provider can help companies personalize and fine-tune their marketing messages.

Mailchimp | Clustomers

To create the "Clustomer" ball, the team built a 12ft x 8ft jungle-gym orb thingy, "kind of what you would see on the playgrounds in the '80s and '90s," Wink group creative director Jeremy Jones tells Muse. "We ended up casting a mix of gymnasts, contortionists and aerialists that we could put in weird and uncomfortable spots. By our fourth day of shooting, the entire ball of actors became really good friends. It was cool to see."

They got close, that's for sure. Here's the orb without humans attached:

Indeed, like the man says, cool to see. But ... why go through so much sweaty, joint-grinding effort?

"Our marketing needs to be good and distinct to pay off the benefit of our products" because the audience consists primarily of marketers, Jones says.

"Our research revealed that our marketing customer's biggest pain point was figuring out better ways to personalize at scale and make the most out of their web of customers," he says. "We instantly wanted to visualize the problem in a fun and simple way that folks could identify with."

And so, the "Clustomer" was born, "a tangled mess of customers with very different behaviors that have all been grouped together as one living thing. The word itself, 'Clustomer,' is a funny word—but what does it look like? And we just started building on that. And ended up using Midjourney initially to bring it to life visually."

Yeah, AI had to sneak in there somewhere. Between some twisted arms and bent legs, no doubt.

The work feels in step with past Mailchimp efforts that lean into absurdist B2B humor. These include 2022's ultra-silly "Guess Less, Sell More" and, most famously, the even sillier "Did You Mean Mailchimp?" romps from a few years ago.

David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is managing editor at Clio Awards.

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