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Creativity

October 3, 2016 View Original Article

Squarespace and Google Team Up to Highlight Small Businesses With a Mission

Website-building platform Squarespace has tackled a variety of marketing stages. It's appeared before masses during the Super Bowl for the last three years, including in one bizarre but entertaining campaign starring Jeff Bridges as a hippie sleep guru, via Wieden & Kennedy New York, and another from Anomaly that cast comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele as wannabe sportscasters who actually went on to comment on the game on a Squarespace-built site.

But the company is also appealing to more targeted consumers. Recently, it provided the home to an online art exhibit of sorts for filmmaker David Lynch, created with Preacher and director Sandro Miller. And this week, it has teamed with Google and a few of its patrons for a small-business campaign highlighting entrepreneurs whose missions extend beyond their bottom lines.

Created in-house and produced out of Anonymous Content, the series of films star Squarespace and Google users LocoL,Kombucha Dog and Girlboss, all companies with aspirations to bring positive impact to their communities. The brainchild of Michelin-starred chef Daniel Patterson and Kogi food truck founder Roy Choi, LocoL is an L.A.-based restaurant that brings affordable, healthy and good food to underserved communities. Kombucha Dog, founded by Michael Faye, is a raw food and kombucha purveyor that also strives to find homes for rescue dogs, while Girlboss is Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso's organization dedicated to supporting women's entrepreneurial endeavors.

"The premise of the co-marketing campaign is that both our companies exist with the same mission: to empower creative entrepreneurs," Squarespace Chief Creative Officer David Lee said of his company's partnership with Google.

The Girlboss film looks back on a younger Ms. Amoruso, recreating the tale of how she started her retail brand from practically nothing. Ultimately, it follows her onto a stage, where she presumably will be presenting on her latest venture, which provides grants to female entrepreneurs.

Another quiet, pensive film gives us an overview of Mr. Faye's Kombucha Dog. It captures the founder examining his product carefully and snapping photos of the pups that go onto the labels of Kombucha Dog bottles--one way the company helps them find good homes.

A third film shows how food entrepreneurs Messrs. Choi and Patterson are bringing good, affordable fast meals to California cities including Oakland and the Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts. All three ultimately point to Google's G Suite business products and Squarespace as tools for pushing their missions forward.

Outside of the videos, Squarespace has also incorporated the campaign concept into the product itself. The company worked with its stars to create new templates inspired by the LocoL, Kombucha Dog and Girlboss websites that will be available to all customers on the Squarespace platform.

"This is the first time we've ever done this," Mr. Lee said. "We worked with Sophia Amoruso to get her view of the world, what she wanted her website to look and feel like. We spent a lot of time with her on this new template that will power the new Girlboss website when the campaign launches, but it's also going to be something that anyone else in the world will be able to use as the starting point of their own website as well."

Squarespace has an array of customers it could have chosen, but for this campaign, it highlighted companies with a higher purpose. "I think it makes for a more interesting story, and I also think it's a sign of modern-day small business," Mr. Lee said. "There has to be a bigger mission--that's an idea that's fueling the next generation of modern entrepreneurs. There's an opportunity to become successful, but to also give back."