Thinx and Casper are two emerging online e-commerce startups that offer very different products: The former woos women with period-proof underwear, while the latter aims to offer the “perfect mattress for everyone.” When it comes to marketing, however, the two share a mutual interest: subway ads.
Many New York straphangers are impressed by Thinx’s subway campaigns where one ad features a cracked egg, an allusion to the unfertilized eggs expelled during menstruation, and another shows a woman sitting next to a grapefruit that is evocative of vagina. The brand was reportedly trying to spend more than $300,000 on 15,000 subway ads last year.
“We like subway ads because we want to create a presence in New York City where trends are set,” Miki Agrawal, CEO and co-founder of Thinx said on stage at Marketing Unbound, the annual conference hosted by The Economist. “And we want our ads to be conversation starters for New York subway riders.”
New York City is also an important location for Casper, who accompanied Thinx on the panel at the conference, and whose subway ads feature a variety of characters, from animals to snowmen and dinosaurs. David Zhang, the company’s CMO, thinks that subway ads are highly effective to target local audience because when riders get stuck on the train, they have nowhere to look except at those ads. “From a media buying perspective, you can get 500 to 700 brand trains at a pretty decent price,” said Zhang. “It’s a great way to put your brand on the map and get millions of eyeballs.”
Of course, attribution is a challenge when use an old-fashioned marketing channel like subway. In order to measure its ads on the train, Thinx has created unique URL “hellothinx.com” for its subway campaign and tracked online traffic from different cities. If the company sees a spike in conversions from New York City while other cities remain stable, it knows that the spike must come from subway ads because they are only served in New York City.
Casper, on the other hand, has created special promotional codes like “Path” or “Subway” for subway ads. They are still a weak metric though, because many commuters may not remember the codes. In order to tackle this attribution issue, Casper has been using “regression analysis” to understand the incremental lift within New York City versus similar markets where the brand doesn’t run subway campaigns.
“We still don’t have a 100 percent clear read on what’s going on in New York City because of other marketing initiatives that we are running at the same time, but we are getting better results from our regression analysis,” said Zhang. “If you want to use classic marketing channels like subway, my advice is, don’t give up too soon — make sure that you spend lots of time thinking through measurement.”
When everyone is talking about integrated marketing today, it’s critical for brands to use other platforms to complement their subway ad initiatives, Zhang added. In Casper’s case, it has been running direct mail, TV and video ads in addition to subways ads in New York City. Many of those campaigns coincide with each other.
“We’ve been talking about the magic of having multiple touch points to tell the brand story,” he said. “In order to have an integrated insight, we need to piece out the impact of each channel through data and attribution model.”
How gaming organization OTK strikes a balance between creator-ownership and more traditional executive experience
Since its formation in October 2020, creator ownership has been a core part of One True King’s DNA. The group is constantly adding new talent to its list of creator–owners, fueling a rapid rise and accolades such as “Best Content Organization” at last year’s Streamer Awards.
When it comes to TikTok, some marketers proceed with caution
For some marketers, the bloom is coming off TikTok.
Digiday+ Research deep dive: YouTube holds strong as a reliable marketing channel for agencies and brands
YouTube might not be considered the most exciting marketing channel out there, but brands and agencies see the platform as a reliable marketing channel that delivers consistent success.
SponsoredHow advertisers are fostering more effective publisher partnerships
Michael Weaver, senior vice president, business development and growth, Al Jazeera Media Network An everyday conversation between publishers and advertisers goes like this: The publisher invites the advertiser to a meal to talk about their business, attempts to delve into specifics on what the media buyer is looking to achieve, their audience breakdown and how […]
Pringles goes all in on social to put college athletes front-and-center for ‘March Mustache’ campaign
Pringles is turning to social media — particularly Instagram — to leverage some of the college athletes playing in the March Madness basketball tournament, with the goal of reaching college basketball fans on second screens.
Short-form video needs better monetization, creator funds aren’t the way to do it
Creator funds have almost been like a stepping stone before a more permanent solution is either considered or put into place.