ThirdLove, the direct-to-consumer bra and underwear company, has seen tangible benefits from moving beyond its digital marketing roots and embracing the power of television.

Heidi Zak, ThirdLove’s co-founder/co-CEO, discussed this subject at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) 2019 Annual Leadership Meeting (ALM).

“Television is definitely a growing channel for us,” she said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: ThirdLove shows how direct brands grow beyond digital into legacy media.)

One of the main benefits of this medium, she reported, is that there is “something physical about TV ... Something physical that someone touches. In some ways, it’s just more real”.

And “real” is a key attribute for ThirdLove – a brand that treats women of all sizes and ages with the kind of respect and dignity that had all but disappeared among most existing brands in its space.

“For us, this was real,” Zak explained. “The message was real. And if we just put them up digitally, they wouldn’t have felt as real.”

David Spector, ThirdLove’s co-founder, suggested that its move beyond online channels and into television was a carefully calibrated effort.

“As we continued to build the brand out in non-digital channels like television, we were thinking through when to place big bets on expensive advertising media – whether it was some premium TV buy or a 30-second commercial [that] could cost $100,000 to $1m,” he said.

ThirdLove reportedly started with a modest broadcast ad budget of less than $300,000 a month. And Nielsen, the research firm, reported that ThirdLove spent more than $13.2m on TV in 2018.

A core advantage of television is that it can reach the broad audience that ThirdLove is seeking. “Our audience today is really anywhere from 22 to 80-plus,” Spector said.

But there are some limitations, too. “It’s hard for us to [address] a specific audience. The hard thing about non-clickable advertising formats – as we’ve begun to scale into them pretty dramatically – is that we can’t target,” said Spector.

“We don’t know if a certain ad is going to resonate with that 25-year-old woman in New York. That’s hard for us.” In response, ThirdLove’s data engineers and data scientists are “thinking through how we make attribution correct for an advertising medium”.

Sourced from WARC