Be Kind by Ellen logo

How we built a subscription box brand for one of television’s biggest celebrities—Ellen DeGeneres.

Be Kind by Ellen Statistics

  • We worked with Boxit Studio to create a limited edition run of 5,000 boxes.
  • Ellen discussed her new box in an Instagram video the day before the show aired.
  • The video received over 1.7 million views, over 140,000+ likes, and nearly 2,000 comments.
  • The box was sold out before it was officially announced. It was sold out in under 24 hours.
  • Over 20,000 fans joined the waiting list.

 

Be Kind by Ellen Subscription Box Design

The Ellen DeGeneres Show

The Ellen Degeneres Show is one of the most-watched shows in the United States, with nearly 4,000,000 viewers per episode.

Ellen is particular about design, color and protective of her brand. Ellen is an effective merchandiser and wanted to create a limited edition box. Ellen and her team envisioned the box to contain unique and hard-to-find gift items that would ultimately deepen her relationship with her fans.

Element5 is the most experienced agency in the subscription box space, and Boxit Studio is the leading partner for subscription product development. Her team entrusted our firms to design and create her unique, curated box brand.

Ellen has always been about kindness and giving back.

Going back to her stand up comedy days, Ellen’s personality had always been driven by one belief: be funny, but never at someone else’s expense. We’ve always been impressed by Ellen’s unwavering kindness, compassion for everyone, and generosity. This was the inspiration behind the BE KIND by ellen box.

Collaboration was key

We are a few time zones away from Ellen’s team, so weekly calls and check-ins were key to making the project a success. The first item on the agenda was setting up weekly conference calls—led by Boxit Studio— that included Ellen’s team and Element5. Then we began our deep dive into Ellen’s brand. Knowing everything about her brand helped in creating a new product and brand extension that felt essentially “Ellen.”

User Experience set the brand tone

Our first project task was creating the brand narrative—a short, visual narrative informed by recent studies on how humans developed altruism and how kindness seems to be part of our DNA. The narrative set the tone of voice for all projects afterward.

Our next task was creating a landing page for the box, using the brand tone of voice. Boxit Studio performed two levels of intensive research (concept and pricing) and shared the results and critical insights with the teams. Ellen believes in kindness and has respect for all people, regardless of their lifestyles or beliefs. This guiding principle became the tone of voice.

Thus, the BE KIND by ellen box was born.

Keeping the brand on point

Every aspect of copy and design was accounted for. Ellen’s team loved our attention to detail—from the “microcopy” we wrote for buttons (“Let’s be friends” instead of the lifeless “Submit”)—to the simple signup process (“Sign Up, On its Way, Good Happens, Be Amazed”).

There were three principles we wanted to convey in the brand messaging and on the landing page copy:

  1. Clear: Messaging must clearly convey what this is about, who it’s for, why you’ll love it, and that the process of subscribing should feel effortless.
  2. Personal: Every aspect of the box must feel like Ellen had made the experience for you, from the copy on the forms to the look and feel of the box. Even the error messages felt like Ellen was speaking to you.
  3. Charitable: Ellen is generous with her time and money and we all wanted the box to reflect that. A donation is made to The Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund for purchasing a box.

Contingency planning

We knew the box would sell out (just not so quickly!). We preprogrammed the landing page to switch automatically, based on stock. As soon as the number of boxes hit zero, the website changed messaging to reflect the stock status. The purchase form also switched to instead capture names and email addresses. This allowed us to notify fans of upcoming availability or future boxes.

Results

We created a limited run of 5,000 boxes.

The day before the show aired, Ellen discussed her new box in an Instagram video. The video received over 1.7 million views, over 140,000+ likes, and nearly 2,000 comments.

Each studio audience member of The Ellen DeGeneres Show received a box on the announcement day.

The box was sold out before it was announced. It was sold out in under 24 hours.

The box was only geared toward a US audience, but within a day of the post, Ellen fans from 99 countries wanted to order it.

Actress, Kristin Bell also mentioned the box in a post.

The box was also featured on MySubscriptionAddiction.com, HelloSubscription.com, Hip2Save.com, and SunscriptionBoxRamblings.com.

Within a week, the box was selling on eBay for 3–4 times its worth.

Over 20,000 fans joined the waiting list.