Working with Instacart Ads: DUDE Products
In this series, Working with Instacart Ads, we take a look at real-world examples of brand partners who have successfully used Instacart Ads to meet, and exceed, their advertising objectives.
DUDE Products was founded in 2011 by four lifelong friends out of their apartment in Chicago before appearing on ‘Shark Tank’ in 2015. Today it is now one of the fastest-growing brands in the $10B+ U.S. bath tissue industry. The company is focused on engaging with customers to build trust and shape consumer habits to grow the overall category.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, DUDE saw a rapid consumer shift to e-commerce that impacted store traffic across numerous retailer accounts.
“We noticed the further acceleration of e-commerce, specifically on Instacart, and decided it was time to hit the gas on the platform by launching a Featured Product ad campaign,” says Jeff Klimkowski, CFO of DUDE Products.
Featured Product is an auction-based ad product that allows advertisers to secure prime digital shelf space across a consumer’s full shopping journey. Featured Product ads can boost sales, category share, and trial by elevating products to high visibility touch points across search, browse, and “buy it again” lists. Emerging brands like DUDE Products can use Featured Product placements to increase exposure during consumers’ existing online shopping experiences. In search, Featured Product ads help products stand out from thousands of items — Instacart data shows that 70% of conversions from search come from the first row of results where the platform places the top Featured Products.
DUDE looked to enter aggressively, setting the campaign objective to maximize impressions and running with an uncapped budget.
“Rather than a static, somewhat arbitrary budget amount, or ad share goal, we used a ROAS range to scale as much as possible while being cognizant of profitability,” says Enrico Mirabelli, President of Rico Retail Media. This approach created a flywheel effect over time, garnering more visibility, sales and relevancy.
After launching their Featured Product campaign with Instacart Ads in August 2020, DUDE Products increased monthly spend 8x and saw ad-attributed sales increase by 6x on the platform. The company hit an above-target ROI and grew market share in their subcategory by 10x YoY.
“We can see the increased ad spend is leading to incremental sales — not just taking credit for sales that were already going to happen,” says Mirabelli.
“At DUDE, differentiating our products with creative choices — from innovative packaging to down-to-earth humor — has always been a priority and a point of pride. The same is true when it comes to amplifying our products and reaching new audiences. We’re excited to continue working with partners like Instacart, leveraging their unique advertising platform to engage directly with our customers in a digital-first landscape,” says Klimkowski.
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