Writing the Code for Success: How 3 Internet-Based Companies Used TV to Grow Their Audience

Feb 19, 2020

If you have a dog, you’ve probably heard of BarkBox – a monthly subscription service that started as an online Direct to Consumer (DTC) pet gift brand. This savvy internet company creatively used online audiences found on social media to grow its business.  But as customer growth slowed and acquisition costs rose, BarkBox needed to reach a new audience quickly and efficiently. Where did BarkBox put their advertising dollars in order to do this?

According to a 2019 Winmo report on media spend integrations, in 2018 BarkBox doubled its TV spending from 40% of its media mix to 80%, while scaling back digital advertising from 59% to just over 16%.

This may seem like a surprising move for an online business, especially in the height of the digital era.  But the truth is, despite advertising being available on more and more digital channels, your largest and most receptive audience can still be found on TV.

And BarkBox isn’t the only internet-based company who picked up on this fact.

When eyeglasses retail disruptor Warby Parker first started out, all of the sales, promotion, and distribution of the company’s hipster-chic frames happened through online channels. But in 2018, when they reached the end of their social media/digital customer base, Warby Parker purchased a huge annual campaign that included a $5.6M TV spend, allocating 88% of its total media mix to television.

Another online brand that has found huge success in using TV to build its audience may surprise you.  It’s none other than social media giant Facebook!

In a 2017 article from FacebookIQ, Facebook Marketing Science partner Kantar Worldpanel revealed its findings from a European study on the effects of using both TV and Facebook in advertising.  The study found that, “among the households studied, those reached by both Facebook and TV, produced a sales outcome 1.3X greater than expected, showing the synergistic effect of planning Facebook and TV together.”

In 2018, Facebook took its own advice, adding to its media mix an $84M TV spend to get the most out of its digital advertising investment.

This valuable lesson from Facebook is one that many smart companies are discovering as they decide where to allocate their advertising budgets to get the most out of their spend.  The power of TV isn’t just its massive audience reach; TV can also help other areas of your media mix perform better.  (This is known as “halo effect,” which we go more in-depth on in our blog post, “Should I Shift My TV Advertising Spending to Digital?”)

Are you missing TV from your media mix?  If you want to learn more about affordable, customizable options for adding TV to your advertising strategy, our expert consultants are here to help!