Q: What Are Current Examples of Awesome Under-the-Radar Comms or Brand Work?
Mixing Board Member Mashup
One of the most frequently asked questions that comms and brand leaders get is “who else is doing this really well?”
Yet, despite the frequency of the query, in the moment of hearing it, your mind is apt to go blank more often than not.
As a public service for these situations and to also capture and shout out great work happening, we asked Mixing Board community members for current examples of under-the-radar great work and here’s what they had to say…
Mischa Vaughn (Head of Content at Felicis Ventures)
DoNotPay is doing next-level comms work right now. They are building the world’s first AI lawyer, and their CEO, Josh Browder, has positioned the company and himself as one of the leading authorities on what AI can unlock for consumers. In January Josh tweeted about being willing to pay $1 million to let his AI argue a case in front of the Supreme Court and the stunt took off on a life of its own with so much hype around it. When they built their AI that renegotiates comcast utility bills, they got similar attention. The result is thousands of pieces of coverage across print and broadcast (most recently on The Today Show) and incredible organic growth for the company. These stunts are powerful, they tap into the narrative around AI and are always promoting better experiences (and financial outcomes) for consumers. It’s an approach that the media and their audiences are clearly loving.
MyMind, The Browser Company
Erzsi Sousa (brand consulting for climate companies)
MyMind: The people behind this new organizational tool clearly know who they’re taking to, and what those people care about. They share stuff that’s interesting to those people, rather than just hawking their product—like Old Apple ads and the everlasting beauty of Walkmans.
The Browser Company: Everything they do is packed with creativity and personality—especially their videos. They’re refreshingly different and beautifully done without feeling overdone. And it just seems like them, being them (and clearly they know how to tell a good multimedia story). Some favorites: founder & CEO Josh Miller reacting to MKBHD review Arc and talking about How Arc will make money, and a Succession-inspired episode about an upcoming Board meeting.
Kate Lee (digital media strategist)
Blackbird Labs, a new web3-enabled loyalty and membership program for the hospitality industry (specifically restaurants) from the founder of Resy and cofounder of Eater, launched with a newsletter, The Supersonic. (As a testament to the company’s commitment to content, it hired a VP of content.) Pieces are a mix of product marketing (new product launches) and editorial—the latter including writers reminiscing about meaningful restaurant experiences, and thought leadership from the founder and content VP about how to reinvent the restaurant experience in a post-Covid era. Visitors to its office get a nicely designed NFT that I’ve seen tweeted. The content is highly curated, authentic, genuinely interesting, and useful.
Ashley Simon (brand and product marketing leader)
I love what Gohar World is doing. They're pulling off the very rare combination of attention to craft and quality + quirky humor. You'll find gorgeous, delicate lace napkins alongside "boobie" sponges. Reminds me a bit of what Alessandro Michele did at Gucci. A great reminder that brands can be serious AND playful.
Camille Ricketts (Notion’s first Head of Marketing — currently on sabbatical)
Anthropic is doing some amazing brand and comms work in the AI space. When you go to their site and look at every choice they've made with their branding, you get the message that they're building a more grounded, trustworthy, human-centric AI. They were also able to position themselves as a key part of the discourse alongside OpenAI with a generous round of press even before having a product consumers could use. Suddenly, they felt like they were everywhere recently.
Tom Raith (brand marketing and communications leader)
The team at Minus Coffee, the climate biotech company making coffee minus the coffee beans, is doing a great job with their early-stage company’s IG The account Educates on complex topics like climate change, fermentation, agriculture; Enlightens with the cultural history of coffee delivered by the engaging Costa Rican founder; Tempts with delicious product videos and photography; Inspires you to make the switch; Recruits with fun posts of Minus’ culture; Entertains throughout.
Dove, Dan Runcie, PeerSignal.org/KeyPlay.io
Pat Shores (marketing for PE/VC backed companies )
Dove’s #BlackHairIsProfessional for social / influencer campaign. True to Dove’s brand (real beauty) yet brought forward to something important that a lot of women care deeply about. You could feel the engagement and support on LinkedIn. And as a follow on, I just saw their advocacy campaign for young girls and social media. This is hard stuff and they are running towards it with courage.
Dan Runcie at Trapital has quickly grown his newsletter to over 24K+ subscribers and 29K+ LI followers organically. I believe it is because his insights are so interesting and unique on “music, media, and culture”. It’s the kind of stuff that stops you scrolling to read.
PeerSignal.org // Keyplay.io. They have a product that surfaces insights for B2B SaaS sales but they used to create really valuable insights real-time to help people find jobs or learn about the AI landscape etc. – and they shared it freely on LinkedIn. It delivered results (funnel and sales).
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