Shapewear Marketplace Shapermint Harnesses the Power of Television to Boost Traffic

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Shapewear marketplace Shapermint, like a number of direct-to-consumer brands such as Mack Weldon, recently expanded its presence on television, taking advantage of lower pricing during the pandemic, even though spending by the category has fallen this year.

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During the second week of August, the brand began airing its “Feel Like the Masterpiece You Are” ad campaign on national television on channels and networks such as TLC, Hallmark, MTV, Bravo, E! and Lifetime, as well as specific programs like The Kelly Clarkson Show.

Shapermint initially began experimenting with television last December, making the move after realizing that the YouTube version of its campaign was performing four times better than the Facebook version, according to Shapermint’s CMO and co-founder Massimiliano Tirocchi. He said the company found that by advertising the brand on television, consumers are more likely to trust it than if they see it only online.

Tirocchi added that Shapermint earmarked $500,000—or between 8% and 10% of its total ad budget—for airing the campaign in August and the first two weeks of September. The company’s next step will be to begin testing advertising on streaming services in the fourth quarter, as well as unveil a new ad campaign that it plans to test the second half of November and in December.

So far, the investment is paying off: 19% of visitors to the retailer’s website saying they had seen the ad on television as of the end of September compared to 10% as of June, while increasing the overall number of visitors to its website.

“One of the strengths we have is profitable customer acquisition,” Tirocchi said.

To build on the momentum, Shapermint bolstered its YouTube spend and added radio and podcasts to its marketing mix.

Creative agency Harmon Brothers—which has created viral videos for the likes of Squatty Potty, Poo Pouri and Purple Mattress—produced the “Feel Like the Masterpiece You Are” campaign on a project basis. Shapermint tapped Tatari for media buying and optimization of TV channels to pinpoint where the ad is performing best.

The campaign was inspired by customer feedback, and attempts to counter prior conceptions of shapewear, particularly that it perpetuates unrealistic beauty perceptions, Tirocchi said.

“One of the challenges was trying to change the perception of women’s hesitancy to wear shapewear,” he said.

Tircocchi added that Shapermint wanted to show how shapewear is something that people can wear on a daily basis and not be something to be ashamed of. The creation of Empetua, its in-house brand, is also an effort to get more women to adopt the garments by offering a product that has a lower compression level so that it is more comfortable. To boot, the private label brand is more affordable.

Shapermint-—which sells outside brands such as Maidenform in addition to its own in-house brand—is an ecommerce player the retail industry needs to keep its eye on, generating some $200 million in sales in just the two years since its founding in May 2018.

In fact, the multi-brand shapewear marketplace, with about 4 million members, says it is on track to achieve $170 million in sales this year alone, Tirocchi said. That’s despite the fact sales fell in March due to Covid-19, quickly rebounding with sales growth of more than 30% in April, 100% in May, 80% in June and 50% in August, all year over year, roughly speaking.

Meanwhile, Shapermint and its parent Trafilea have no outside investors at this stage, and the company has been largely profitable since its founding.

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