An innovative & ingenious marketing campaign: the story of Smashd

June 10, 2024
marketing campaign Nicole the intern

In the ever-evolving landscape of marketing, creativity and innovation are paramount. Recently, I started following “Nicole the Intern”. Working for a small non-alcoholic cocktail brand, Mixoloshe, she showcased an exemplary display of ingenuity with her Instagram campaign. This campaign, centered around Nicole’s mission to prove that smashing cans was a superior marketing strategy to her boss Mike’s traditional methods, has captivated audiences and led to the company’s rebranding to “Smashd.”

The Marketing Campaign Narrative

Nicole the Intern, a determined and charismatic character, embarked on a humorous and rebellious journey to challenge the established marketing strategies at Mixoloshe. Starting April 13, 2024, her goal was to demonstrate that smashing cans for 60 days could create a more significant impact than conventional methods. I began following her a few weeks in but was so intrigued by the concept that I went through and watched all of her videos. Over the next 10 weeks, Nicole’s passion and creativity were on full display as she rallied her followers, affectionately dubbed the “Smash Army,” to support her cause. I along with her other followers found ourselves cheering on a complete stranger.

Reenacting Famous Movie Scenes

One of the most entertaining aspects of Nicole’s campaign was her series of videos reenacting famous scenes from popular movies, but with a twist – each scene incorporated can smashing in a humorous and inventive way. These reenactments showcased her creativity and made the campaign even more relatable and shareable. As followers, we began waiting in anticipation to see if she would tackle our favorite scenes. By blending nostalgia with originality, Nicole’s videos resonated deeply with her audience, contributing to the campaign’s viral success.

The Challenge: 500k Followers

The most thrilling aspect of the campaign was the target for Nicole: if she reached 500,000 followers in 60 days (by June 10, 2024), she would NOT be fired and would be offered a full-time job along with the opportunity to rebrand the company. This challenge not only had us all engaged, but also created a sense of urgency and excitement around the campaign. I found myself asking people if they had seen and heard about this incredible intern’s story! The mission was contagious. Nicole’s grassroots, user-generated style of content endeared her to her followers and built a loyal and enthusiastic community.

Reaching the Goal and the Rebrand

True to her mission, Nicole hit the 500,000-follower mark over 2 weeks early (May 25, 2024). As promised, they announced the rebranding of Mixoloshe to “Smashd” today. This milestone was a testament to her ability to mobilize and inspire her audience. Interestingly, as the campaign progressed, I along with other viewers noticed that the quality of her reels evolved from grassroots, user-type videos to higher production-quality content, indicating a much larger production budget. This evolution began to raise questions about whether Nicole was working alone or had the support of a larger team behind the scenes.

Buy Smashd here.

The Genius Behind the Marketing Campaign

Whether Nicole was truly an intern operating independently or part of a larger, coordinated effort, the campaign’s brilliance lies in its ability to engage and entertain while delivering a clear message. The narrative of an underdog challenging the status quo resonated deeply with audiences, and Nicole’s journey was no exception. The campaign effectively humanized the brand, creating a strong emotional connection with its audience.

The Tagline: “So Good, You’ll Think It’s Real”

The newly announced tagline for “Smashd,” “So good, you’ll think it’s real,” is a stroke of genius. It alludes to the reenacting of fictional movie scenes while emphasizing the quality of the drink as a non-alcoholic “cocktail”. The part that blows me away is that it has left the entire audience to wonder whether the entire scenario was a meticulously crafted marketing stunt. Was the whole campaign so good, that we thought it was real? Incredible.

The Announcement and New Website

The announcement of the rebrand to “Smashd” was made today on Nicole’s Instagram. It was accompanied by the launch of This timely reveal has added another layer of excitement and anticipation, further solidifying the campaign’s success. Check out the announcement of the new brand here. I am sharing this story to highlight valuable insights from this campaign for us as marketers and business owners. But also, I want to applaud Nicole and Smashd for the ingenuity of the campaign and the entertainment they provided us with over the last couple of months!

Well done.

How to build an ingenious marketing campaign – lessons from Smashd

Mixoloshe’s “Smashd” campaign offers several valuable lessons for marketers:

  1. Embrace Storytelling: A compelling narrative can capture attention and foster emotional connections.
  2. Create Ambiguity: Leaving some questions unanswered can generate intrigue and keep audiences engaged.
  3. Humanize Your Brand: Relatable characters and stories can make your brand more approachable and likable.
  4. Leverage Social Media: Challenges and follower engagement can drive significant results.
  5. Engage your Audience: Using familiar and beloved references, like famous movie scenes, can enhance relatability and shareability.

In conclusion, the “Smashd” campaign is a testament to the power of creative marketing. Whether Nicole was truly an intern or part of a broader team effort, the campaign’s impact is undeniable. It serves as a reminder that sometimes, thinking outside the box and challenging conventional methods can lead to extraordinary results. As marketers, we can all take a page from Mixoloshe / Smashd’s playbook and strive to create campaigns that are not only effective but also engaging and fun.

To see some of the work we’ve done, visit our portfolio and if you’re interested in growing your brand, reach out and let’s see what sort of crazy ideas we can come up with together.

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