Old School Trolling

October 4, 2021


We like to play with words. The latest word we are playing with is trolling. For a few of us, trolling meant collecting and playing with this cute or maybe creepy little wild-hair doll. Today, trolling is known as the practice of methodically pursuing something or someone, usually online. Playing with this word led to an idea that we think is pretty cool. Let us explain.

The Challenge


We like to work in opposites when thinking of ways to approach a challenge. We explain it as going left when everyone else is going right. The road less travelled approach. A large part of the reason for this kind of thinking are the experiences we have collected over time. Taking the idea for forging our own path and being a little playful with ‘our experience,’ we began throwing around ideas for a campaign to get the attention of several important friends in the industry we serve. The goal is to have them so impressed by our idea that they are compelled to share it with others AND reach out to us.

The Audience


We believe our audience are women and men in their 30s and 40s. People that work with technology in front of computer screens every day. People of the age that grew up playing with and collecting toys. An audience that may appreciate a little retro outreach. Oh, and they are in a position to hire us as their agency.

The Approach


We began talking about our experiences growing up, at home, school, and work looking for an idea to connect with our target audience. We talked about how so many people collected different toys for their desk like stress balls. One of our team members (in her 30s) began reminiscing about her troll doll collection and giggled through a story about her addiction to troll dolls as a child. She shared that she would save her money for weeks just to have her mom take her to the store to buy a very creepy-looking, statuesque “doll”, sometimes at $80 a pop. You guessed it. This story led to a conversation about trolls and then trolling. A play on words sparked an idea – old school trolling.

The Idea


“Hello. Amazon? We would like to order 50 wild-hair troll dolls, please.”

That’s right. We decided to take the play on  words troll and trolling and take it to another level for our new business campaign. We also decided to go full old school. We have hand-written personal notes to our top prospects admitting we are trolling them as potential partners in business. A small troll doll with its wild hair is enclosed to bring a smile to their faces and, hopefully, a fun memory to their minds. We have hand-written each envelope and are sending them to be delivered by the mail person. We took it one step further by suggesting they contact us by telephone. Here is an example of a card –

“Ok, we’ll admit it… we’ve been trolling you. Old school, we know. But totally worth it. We love what we’re seeing and would love to be a part of your team, working together to surprise and delight. We have some thoughts we’d love to share with you when you’re available. Keeping it old school, let’s hop on a call. You can reach us at 443.370.8815. Look forward to your call.”

The Outcome


We are stuffing envelopes now and will be going to the post office to send them out this week. If we receive one direct reply, this campaign will be a success. For those that may not reply, we will see if we have made an impression with them with? our next campaign or when we meet in person at a trade in the new year.

A part of our success is exercising our approach to business – thinking and working opposite of the norm.

Being Different


All agencies say they are different. Many try to be different. Most simply do the work and this is okay. It is what is required by the clients. Truly being different begins with a natural train of thought, a commitment to embrace those things that make it so, and an inherent drive to be true to yourself as you work to help others. Truly being different is a gift.

David Rendall in is book “Freak Factor” shares this gift and speaks to how being different than the normal is special. We know we are special and that it has a place with the right people in business looking to overcome their challenges in a unique and meaningful way.

With Draper DNA, there is a difference. Let us show you.


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