The 'Serial' MailChimp Ad Won't Get Out of My Head & It's All Sarah Koenig's Fault

Last Wednesday night, my two best friends told me I had to check out the Serial podcast ASAP. (I know, I know. I was way late to the party.) One followed up the request with a stern warning: If I did not like the pod, she’d block my number. So, the next morning, I took the plunge and listened to first episode of the This American Life true crime spinoff. And by "first episode" I mean "the seven episodes available for download," natch. (Come on, like I was going to stop at one.) I, like many others before me, was instantly hooked. Per their request, I kept my BFFs updated on my progress as I made my way through the eps ("It's Mr. S!!!", "It's Jay!!!", "It's The Crab Crib!!!"). Somewhere around part four or five, I sent them the following message: “This MailChimp ad before Serial is gonna be the end of me.”

This is not news to anyone who listens to the podcast, but the same commercial for an electronic mail service called MailChimp plays before every episode. (If you haven't already, I implore you to read Vocativ's incredible MailKimp deep-dive.) The first time I heard it, I didn't pay it much attention. But after repeat listens, "MailChimp! MailChimp! MailKhimp?" had burrowed into my mind. And that night, I caught myself saying it out loud while I did some dishes. And that's when I began to curse the name of the MailChimp ad.

[In Sarah Koenig’s voice]: Does Kristie actually hate the MailChimp ad? Why would she react so strongly to such an innocuous advertisement? Might she be suppressing some sort of MailChimp obsession? Does she secretly look forward to hearing it every time she started a new episode?

Hm. Let's consult the evidence, shall we?

Things that Drive me Nutzo About the MailChimp Ad

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The earworm factor. The aforementioned "MailChimp! MailChimp! MailKhimp?" dish incident was not the only time I've caught myself reciting the commercial out loud. It's been stuck in my head ever since I jumped on the Serial bandwagon last Thursday. I've muttered it while driving, while grocery shopping, and while sorting laundry. And I feel weird about it every time.

Who likes getting commercials/songs/Shakespearean monologues stuck in her head? NOT ME.

“I use MailChimp!” Why is that part so quiet? Don't make strain my precious ears, MailChimp ad!

I want it to be over as soon as it begins. It's an obstacle that I have to overcome (read: patiently listen to) in order to get to the next episode of Serial. The quicker it ends, the quicker I can get to the murder mystery mayhem.

Reasons to Believe I Enjoy The MailChimp Ad

“Mail… Kimp?" MailKahimp/MailKhimp/MailC-Himp/MailKimp is the gift that keeps on giving.

“Use a MailChimp". Ugh, can't get enough of this. It's all about that “a”. Use a MailChimp. I always picture a monkey hopping out of a USPS truck with a messenger bag slung across his torso. He’s wearing a chimp size USPS uniform, of course. It makes me very happy when an animal thinks he's people. Even if that animal is a chimpanzee postman I dreamed up in my mind.

“…and deliver high fives.” OK, so now I’m picturing a monkey in a USPS uniform, knocking on doors, and giving humans high fives. It’s the high-fiving monkey equivalent of a singing telegram. My heart is so full.

I listen to it every time. I could fast-forward, but I never do. I guess I'd rather let it play than make the effort to skip past the ad.

[In Sarah Koenig’s voice]: And this is the part that gets me. If Kristie really didn't like the MailChimp ad, wouldn't she breeze on past it? I know if I find something to be truly grating, I avoid it at all costs. Perhaps Kristie doesn't find it grating. Perhaps Kristie, for some strange reason, has cloaked her true feelings in a shroud of annoyance. I'm inclined to think she'd miss the ad if it didn't show up next Thursday.

...Oh man. I totally would miss it. *Sigh* I guess I do love the ad after all. MailChimp! MailChimp! MailKhimp?

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