Where Will the Dunder Mifflin Brand Live On Without “The Office”?

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Image from: Dunder Mifflin / fanpop

NBC’s The Office aired its final episode May 16th. Since the show’s debut in March of 2005, the series has won 75 different TV honors and the finale was the best performing episode in 16 months, earning a 2.9 rating among adults 18-49 with 5.4 million viewers tuning in. Hopefully, this on-air success will continue to benefit all advertising parties involved.

Possibly one of the most interesting (if not fun) partnerships is between NBC and Quill.com. Back in December of 2011, Quill.com partnered with NBC Universal to launch its own line of Dunder Mifflin copy paper to sell the show’s signature product to the public. What began as printer paper now includes a line of sticky notes, markers, notepads, legal pads and storage boxes two years later.

As the show ended, NBC and Quill recently rolled out an ad campaign, once again promoting the Dunder Mifflin supplies. Starting on May 16th, the new TV ads are running in the geographic markets where the fictional Dunder Mifflin operates, a similar tactic Quill used during this year’s Super Bowl. Quill also cut a deal with American Airlines to run in-flights ads throughout the summer months.

When the Dunder Mifflin brand was first introduced back in 2011, the copy paper quickly became one of the top five items sold on Quill.com. No doubt this product line had a large impact on brand favorability and sales. Compete’s data also suggests this success in a noticeable uptick in Unique Visitors (UVs) and Attention to Quill.com the month after the product release. More people continue to spend more time on the site since; as of last month, UVs to Quill.com grew 94.8% since December 2011.

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According to a recent AdAge article, Quill has aspirations that the fictional paper products will outlive the TV show as an evergreen brand.  What is the state of Quill’s online marketing efforts to achieve this goal? Compete discovered that Quill is competing with its partners at NBC Universal and its parent company, Staples, for the top SERP spot.

On the paid search front, Quill is a top sponsored shopping result for “Dunder Mifflin.” However, Staples is also bidding on shopping results for Dunder Mifflin related keywords. Luckily, Quill has room to improve its organic search rankings. There currently is no Dunder Mifflin content on the Quill.com homepage, which is terrible for SEO. Advertising and linking to its Dunder Mifflin products on the homepage will likely improve its position in search engine results pages.

Unsurprisingly, in search results Quill.com appears below DunderMifflin.com, whose shop directs traffic to the NBC Universal store. But, the NBC store and DunderMifflin.com only sell paper, wheareas Quill offers a variety of office supplies – from cups to markers. Recently, Dunder Mifflin paper was sold out on the NBC store and there was no alternative option to order on Quill. Better terms of partnership could be negotiated to benefit both NBC and Quill.

All things considered, the increased consumer engagement after the initial release of Dunder Mifflin products and The Office finale this past month indicate the future looks bright for the brand. Office fans seem to like the show schwag and with some advertising muscle and an enthusiastic fan base (5.4 million strong), this famous paper brand could enjoy long-lasting success.

About Clayelle Wolf:
Clayelle Wolf is a Marketing Consultant at Compete, focused on special projects concerning the complex and ever-evolving consumer path to purchase. Before joining the team, she worked in the advertising space. She lives in Boston and enjoys exploring all the city has to offer. Connect with Clayelle on LinkedIn.