Ep. 36 – How Challengers Change the Conversation, Measuring the Environmental Impact of Digital Ads, and Retail Media is BIG

🌟 Starface is a fast-growing challenger in the acne treatment personal care space. Started by the ex-beauty editor of Elle, it raised $2M in 2020 in a round led by BCG.

The interesting thing about Starface isn’t just the brand and product, both of which showcase many of the typical traits we see of challenger CPG brands (edgy, diverse, eco-friendly, etc), it’s the conversation and cultural shift they’re looking to drive.

Starface wants to promote “acne positivity”. The want to change the perception that people and society in general have about acne. Sure, it’s not exactly saving the world, but it’s claiming and owning an authentic, sharp point of difference in their industry.

Challengers looking to disrupt a category should be thinking about not just how their brand and product can stand out, but how they can drive a different perception, conversation and ideally cultural shift for their audience.

Check out this interview with co-founder Julie Shott to hear more about how they’re owning acne positivity. And this case study on how they’re effectively reaching a Gen Z audience through social, digital, and influencers. Lastly, it’s worth checking out their TikTok account as it’s a big part of their social/digital strategy and effectiveness.

🌳 Did you know that a typical digital ad campaign emits 5.4 tons of CO2? That’s about a third of what a typical US consumer producers in a YEAR. This isn’t getting talked about enough in our industry, but that’s starting to change.

More and more brands are looking to understand, measure, and reduce the carbon footprint of their digital ads. For example, Toyota signed a partnership with Seen This, a tech platform that reduces ad load times to cut the amount of energy needed to deliver a campaign.

There are many ways to contribute to positive change climate change, but this is an opportunity to be seen as a first-mover. Check it out.

Read more on how advertisers can reduce their carbon footprint here.

🏪 Retail media. We had a solid two weeks here at Rival where Jenna popped up at least once a day on our Slack channel to shout Retail media. It’s going to be big”.

She’s not wrong. Retail media is already big and it’s going to be much bigger.

If you’re a B2C brand with any distribution through retail or e-retail, you need to wrap your head around the retail media opportunity. Those digital CPAs from pre iOS 14 days are not coming back. Retail media is a channel to look at to reallocate some of your budget and find more underpriced attention

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