If you’ve heard of MANSCAPED™, there’s a good chance that’s thanks to a podcast. The premier brand dedicated to men’s grooming and hygiene below-the-waist began advertising on podcasts back in January 2019.
Senior acquisitions manager Natalie Hauptman is in the thick of it, heading up a small team that manages all these campaigns, running numerous shows at any given time. “As a DTC [direct-to-consumer] brand, we hopped on the audio train early,” in MANSCAPED’s evolution, she explains. “We truly see the power of audio advertising and the impact it has on our growing company.”
Host Reads Are ‘More Relatable’
The host read is a key factor in that performance. “We encourage the hosts to speak to their audience in their own voice and personalize stories to make the reads more relatable,” she says.
Moreover, every host read is unique. “No read should ever feel the same, and the more personal the hosts get with it, the more memorable our products are.”
Comedy podcasts have turned out to be a particularly good fit because MANSCAPED™ likes to use humor in its marketing, to help break down men’s initial resistance to discussions of their nether regions. “We are talking about balls here,” Natalie quips, referring to the brand’s signature product, The Lawn Mower™ 3.0 electric ball trimmer. “Nothing is off-limits.”
ROI Fuels Scale and Investment
MANSCAPED™ is seeing a consistently positive ROI. This allows the company to continue scaling their investment in the medium, which includes growing the company’s internal audio team. They measure that return through coupon codes and vanity URLs.
“We feel confident in these methods,” Natalie notes.
They optimize by keeping things fresh, changing up copy and testing new strategies regularly. Unlike radio and streaming, where the model is, “hit ’em, hit ’em, hit ’em,” Natalie says podcasts are, “more organic,” requiring a deft touch to balance frequency and maintaining awareness while not tiring out your audience.
That care is required because she knows podcast listeners truly are paying attention. “Especially when the ads are funny, people are going to listen.”
Hosts and Listeners Are Influencers
Natalie’s team is always on the hunt for new shows, keeping in touch with her Midroll rep and using tools like Magellan.ai and Google to stay on top of exciting releases. “We like to get in early,” she says.
As a product targeted at men, Natalie is usually looking for male skewing audiences. But during the holidays they’ll run on shows with female-leaning audiences, too. “Women love buying products for the men in their life,” Natalie observes. And men also listen to the women in their lives, who “are both buyers and influencers.”
Looking into her crystal ball, Natalie predicts, “podcasting will become the next influencer marketing in the near future. More brands will get the memo to hop on the audio advertising train.”
Going Above and Beyond
Natalie attests that she loves working with Midroll, and her sales rep, Cheryl Dalton. “We don’t like to leave any stone unturned, and Cheryl really makes sure that we’re booked on every show that’s right for our brand.”
“Natalie is fantastic to work with and really gets the power of podcasting,” Cheryl says. “She tests multiple shows at a time to see what works and is very strategic about her plans and expectations on ROI. MANSCAPED™ is doing podcasts right.”
For her part, Cheryl ensures the hosts of all sponsored shows receive a MANSCAPED™ VIP package of products to test out before doing their ad reads. But she’s even taken it further than that.
Cheryl works out of the office adjacent to the Stitcher/Earwolf studios in Hollywood. So, Natalie gave her products to stock in the restroom, where hosts would see them.
“It was the talk of the office,” Cheryl recalls, “and I think it helped get hosts to be even more open to endorsing the product.” In fact, more than 40 shows on the Midroll roster have run MANSCAPED™ campaigns.
“That’s a win for everyone,” Natalie adds.