This post is a part of a series where I breakdown the marketing journey from new brands that I encounter. Flamingo did not endorse or consent to this post.
Before we begin, let’s get something straight. In my world, there are a few things I never do:
- I never shoot rum
- I never travel without my essential oil diffuser/humidifier
- And I never click on cold banner ads from brands I’ve never heard of
However, since I’ve started this little project I’ve been paying extra special attention to the brands cold targeting me on social media. And frankly, the last week has been a crap-shoot. It’s been an endless assortment of meal-prep plans, adult education classes at half-accredited universities, and weight-loss pills disguising as self-care supplements.
So I got bored and went down another kind of Internet black hole:
This little article was targeted to me on Twitter, as an ad from Bustle. Way to go, guys. I WILL ALWAYS CLICK ON THESE.
And that’s when I met Flamingo.
1st Touchpoint: Cold Display Ad
Device: Mackbook Air
Location: This article on Bustle
This little display ad had all the markings of a hot new startup:
- a sexy revision of an everyday product
- a pseudo provocative sub-text
- an uncommon animal name
How could I not click?
2nd Touchpoint: Landing Page from Cold Display Ad
Device: Mackbook Air
The air in my tires deflated a bit when I was sent right to an “All Products” kind of page. No sexy splash. No introduction to the brand. Just a hard sell.
Razors and wax kits. Neato. But what makes them different from all these other razor startups? (I’m a fan of Billie’s, so come at me!) At this point, while I’m not hating the branding, I am wondering: who the hell are these people? The delivery is kind of off, and I’m willing to bet that a lot of people bounce from here. After all: this is a cold advertisement on an article. I was not shopping for razors, or anything really, except to nullify my boredom. So I commit to scrolling down the page in hopes of learning something new about the brand that can excite me.
Not much to see here. So I scroll all the way down to the footer when…
There we go! This is a product from Harry’s. Why not put a banner at the top to show that relationship? I make a mental note to look out for this brand on social media: there has to be some kind of cool retargeting ads coming my way.
However, after a few days: nothing.
3rd Touchpoint: Retargeting Display Ad
Device: Mackbook Air
There are a few things that I do online besides scouring the social channels for good marketing. This time Flamingo caught me in a vulnerable spot:
Yep, I’m DEEP in my search to find a corgi.
Not exactly the right time for me to be hit with an ad, because frankly, I’m like mad occupied. But I was surprised to see Flamingo again after she was a no-show on Facebook or Instagram. What gives with this company? I was just trying to get to know you better and then you ghosted me.
So like any well adjusted millennial with commitment problems I continued puppy shopping and did not click on the ad.
4th Touchpoint: The Google Search
Device: Macbook Air
However, I wasn’t quite ready to call it quits with Flamingo. How often does a girl meet a brand with a quirky animal name and dope branding for females? Like, once a month?
Good, I think to myself: at least we are outbidding the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel.
A few things for me are confirmed here: it’s definitely for ladies. Cool. There are wax kits for both body AND face. I’m into it.
Below the videos, Flamingo is about fourth in the SERP, or Google Search results. And that’s where I click.
5th Touchpoint: The Website User Flow
I’m pleasantly surprised with this homepage. It’s sexy and clean. Yet, it has that Billie-esque “Women have hair, DEAL WITH IT” attitude and I don’t hate it.
In a way, I think that this would have been a better landing page for the cold display ad. Maybe something with a little more of the brand background or story, but probably not right into the All Products page unless it was retargeting.
I click the CTA. Why not?
Ah yes, all the products again. Okay. Nothing new to see here. So I click “Our Story” at the top right.
Here we are, some kind of messaging for me to sink my teach into. #1: They’ve done the Billie-thing where they acknowledge the difficult “to remove or not to remove” hair question without seeming suggestive. Like: “Okay, you have hair. You might want to remove it. You might not. BOTH ARE COOL. However, if you want to remove it, check out our product.” And #2: they’ve done some kind of research to make Flamingo a better experience.
I like how they are trying to connect hair-care to body-care…while twisting it to be kind of like self-care. I think it would be cool if they leaned into that more.
This stood out to me a lot and is something I think could help them it is was introduced earlier in the user flow: the name represents the one-legged pose us ladies make when we are shaving. That’s pretty damn clever. Super sticky.
Finally, another callout about the Harry’s affiliation. This is super strong. I would potentially test putting this above the products when targeting with cold advertisements. This could be done using dynamic text from UTM tagging. It would really help to frame the vision for people who’ve never met the brand before.
I decide to take a look at the menu item at the top right: Wax Guide. Not really my style, but I think it’s interesting that this razor brand also has a waxing component. This is a strong idea in my opinion.
After a big splash page, there’s a waxing guide, which I actually read:
I can feel my armpit hairs ripping out just by looking at it.
A quick scroll down to see the waxing products:
And I think to myself: the pricing on this actually isn’t too bad. Not bad at all.
But now, it’s shopping time. So I go back to the “Shop All” button.
Here I think: all I have to do is go to a product page and maybe they’ll retarget me on social media. MAYBE if I just “Add to Cart” they’ll hit me with a sweet promo and something witty AND ALL WILL BE FORGIVEN.
So I add the Shave Kit to my cart. I choose the “Taro and Rose Gold” because the original coloring is super cute.
Note: As I was writing this, I took a closer look at what was included. There’s also a travel bag that’s not even shown in this picture! This seems like a great value proposition and could definitely tip some other people over.
I decided to go deep down this checkout funnel: I want you to hit me on social media.
But then I had a feeling. It was my marketing sixth sense. Something wasn’t right. They had a Facebook pixel installed on their website… right?
So then I do the marketing equivalent of looking into someone’s underwear drawer: Right click. Inspect. Sources.
Oooooof. Tough break, my friends. The pixel was not installed correctly. Solves that mystery.
Bummer. So I scroll down to the footer. I wonder what their social media looks like anyways…
And as I scroll down I realize there is some seriously cool shit below the product page that I never knew about. Why wasn’t there a scroll down button to let me know of coolness?!
Well this would have been a much cooler landing page from a cold ad.
Ah, this must be that travel bag that I didn’t know I was buying. Onward to Instagram.
6th Touchpoint: Instagram
Device: Macbook Air, Desktop Instagram
Here I wanted to check out a few things. Normally I don’t really care about follower count, but I was curious if this was a brand-new brand. Seems not: has a decent number of followers and a few influencers that are in-the-know.
I also wanted to see if they had highlights: they do. And my suspicions were correct: we have reviews and something that looks like it might be press. So I click on the reviews:
We get a few of these. But there’s no name attached to it. As a marketer, I get the appeal: it looks legit and like something you’d get from a friend. And also as a marketer: I could recreate this exact ad in under 10 seconds. I’m not generally suspicious of brands faking their reviews, but I’m a little suspicious here. I wonder if the users are too?
Moving on to the press one… and I quickly realize it’s not press at all:
Cool, they are doing ads in the subway. I tried to think if I maybe saw them: but likely not. Since I live within walking distance of my office, I only take the subway once or twice a week.
My little touchpoint experiment with this brand stopped here. Big takeaways were to FIX THE PIXEL; throw some of those sexy images on Facebook and Instagram retargeting, work out some of the kinks in the user flow: some really cool imagery was missed out on the product pages; and direct cold ads to a more comprehensive landing page.