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“We’re all figuring out what our new reality is”: How Underwear Brand DTC Thinx Diversifies Its Media Mix With More OOH


Thinx, a vintage direct-to-consumer underwear brand, is expanding its outdoor advertising efforts with its first digital outdoor advertising campaign, which it launched earlier this month.

The timeless underwear company is known for its cheeky social media presence and ads on the New York City subway. In 2015, Thinx launched its OOH metro strategy, appearing alongside popular e-commerce brands such as Casper bedding and men’s wellness brand Hims. Now Thinx is moving above the ground, launching a street-level digital billboard for a week in mid-September in New York City, where the company is based.

Digital consumption is on the rise, but even still, a sense of real-life connectivity is what consumers are looking for.

Ashley Karim-Kincey, vice president of media at Dagger, a full-service agency

This is a brand awareness game that harnesses user-generated content and video to set itself apart from newly launched brands like The Period Company and Cora Period Underwear as they threaten the 70% market share of Thinx, according to Crystal Zerrenner, director of growth at Thinx. “Our goal is to continue to be the bold leader in space,” she said.

“As people come back out into the world and they’re not headlonged, we wanted to make sure we reflect that consumer behavior,” Zerrenner said of the out-of-home strategy.

The roll-out of vaccines and the return of people to the outdoors are among the reasons Thinx is deepening the out-of-home space. Like many DTC brands, Thinx is looking to diversify its media spending in light of Apple’s looming data privacy crackdown, in which iOS 14 has blurred targeting capabilities for social media advertising.

“Digital consumption is on the rise, but even still, a sense of real-life connectivity is what consumers are looking for,” said Ashley Karim-Kincey, vice president of media at Dagger, a service-based creative agency. full. “Market dynamics will push slow brands to jump in and start phasing out old methodologies of media planning and single channel media buying. “

Currently, the majority of Thinx’s advertising dollars are spent on digital advertising, especially social media. Zerrenner declined to describe details of Thinx’s ad spending. But according to Kantar, the DTC brand spent more than $ 450,000 on advertising in the first quarter of this year, up from around $ 58,000 in the first quarter of last year. In 2019, the underwear brand spent nearly $ 6 million on advertising. These numbers do not include social media ad spend, as Kantar does not track these numbers.

According to Facebook’s analytics, the period brand currently has at least two paid ads running on the platform, leveraging social media support in this OOH digital campaign and making Thinx’s first cross-channel campaign as the period brand seeks to create a presence both in real life and online.

ThinxThe backbone for expanding its OOH strategy is smart, according to Allen Adamson, brand analyst and co-founder of brand consulting firm Metaforce. “Outdoor is underrated in its ability to get noticed,” said Adamson, noting that the Thinx interactive billboard helps the brand capture more of the attention of potential buyers. “With people driving less and less in public transport, it has opened up again as another channel. “

As technology develops and digitizes the out of home category, marketers say it will become a more crowded space. “Brands shouldn’t do this without a corresponding geo-targeted mobile strategy,” said Michael DeLeo, media director at R / GA in an email. “As platforms evolve, I think mobile becomes even more important than OOH or DOOH because everything opens up.

That being said, DeLeo notes that Thinx is moving in the right direction with its interactive billboard that capitalizes more on curious travelers than winning new customers. “For a strategy to reach new customers, they would want to expand their efforts outside of New York and absolutely increase their digital spend,” he added.

With nearly a decade of activity, Thinx seeks to evolve with plans to diversify its media mix. According to Zerrenner, the Thinx team will continue to focus on digital channels, leveraging tactics such as paid search, platform publishers, digital signage and programming.

“We’re all figuring out what our new reality is,” Zerrenner said.

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