When DTC underwear brand Parade launched in 2019, the company had little in the way of a set marketing strategy beyond a focus on Instagram.
But now that the company has brought in more than $10 million in revenue in each of its first two years of existence, more complex strategies are needed. One strategy Parade has employed in the last six months is video ads.
These video ads mostly play through Instagram, where the brand has more than 250,000 followers. The majority of its new customers come to Parade through a video ad on Instagram, said Zoe Cohen, senior director of brand marketing at Parade.
Rather than share single videos one at a time, Parade has taken a novel approach. Working with video production company QuickFrame by MNTN, Parade created dozens of pieces of videos that can be reassembled to spotlight different models or different music, among other interchangeable features. For example, Parade filmed eight different intros to one video ad while keeping the rest of the content the same. Another ad focused on the same pair of underwear, with the only difference being the age and ethnicity of the model wearing them. Video ads that included highlights of the brand’s sustainability second-life messaging were particularly effective, driving a 7% higher than average conversion rate.
The idea is that this allows Parade to rapidly test many granular variations of the same content, tailoring each permutation to the specifics of certain demographics, regions and customer profiles. The brand can also test what kind of content works best for which purpose. For example, ads with detailed product views tend to work best when targeting existing customers.
The same strategy can also be used to serve different types of content based on a customer’s level of interaction with a brand. For example, customers who already follow Parade may be served a version of a video ad that includes a link to a secret sale, while others will see only a regular ad with no secret sale link.
“Parade has an amazing creative team,” said Spencer Weinman, vp of sales at QuickFrame, which helped create the modular videos. “But eventually, whether you have a creative team of eight or 100, you reach a limit on scalability. So their creative team still shaped the content and decided how the brand would be presented, but working with us lets them scale up and test lots of iterations in a more manageable way.”
The focus on scalability is especially important as Parade remains focused on growth. The brand doubled its customer base between 2020 and 2021, from 100,000 to 200,000, with plans to double it once more in 2022.
“Parade is growing fast as a business and a brand,” said Douglass Craig, senior director of growth at Parade. Craig joined Parade in August of 2021 as part of the brand’s efforts to capitalize on its early success and to scale. “And we need partners that can work as quickly and efficiently as we do.”