In Biggest TV Push Yet, Zulily Celebrates Sweet Absurdities

Hoping to expand beyond its traditional kids-and-babies fan base, daily deals site Zulily is launching its biggest TV campaign yet, in a series of zany spots meant to show just how imaginative its shoppers can be.

While the site has expanded to offer many deals for women, home and pets, “people still thought it was a place for moms and babies,” says Naama Bloom, vice president of brand video marketing. “We wanted to tell the world that it has things for all women.”

She tells Marketing Daily that the campaign, from Office of Baby, is based on the insight that Zulily’s customers are uncommonly “shoppertunistic. They use shopping for inspiration, much in the same way they use Pinterest.”



Once they find something they might love, she says, “they romanticize it extensively in their own minds before they buy it.” The playful spots make gentle fun of those fantasies: What is we had four feet, to wear more shoes? If we could eat on our patios without fearing wolves? If high fashion and sweatpants had a baby?

And of course, several zero in on the kind of moms that are its core customers: What if my two-year-old grows up to be a celebrity pastry chef? 

Zulily, launched back in 2010 as a flash sales site for moms, babies and kids, now has $1.6 billion in annual revenue and some over 5.8 million active customers, a 16% increase from last year. Launching hundreds of new 72-hour sales each day, it aims to give each user a personalized experience, and the brand’s positioning is based on “The Thrill of the Find.” About 67% of Zulily shopping is done via mobile phone.

“We cater to the woman who is looking for discovery,” she says. And while the site connects with the broad audience of women 25 to 54, she says the psychographic audience is more important: “She is a discovery-oriented shopper, more focused on exploration and opportunities. For her, shopping is truly fun—when another woman might be checking her email or Facebook while in line at the supermarket, our core customer is browsing on Zulily.”

Bloom says her favorite psychographic insight is that Zulily customers “are the type of women who are very likely to have a gift closet at home. They’re the kind of people who are thoughtful, generous, and always keeping their eyes open for something fun to buy. Finding the right throw pillow can have her beaming all day long.”

Ads are running on cable and network, in prime time. A more product-oriented effort, using six-second videos, is appearing on Facebook and Instagram.

In its most recent quarterly results, Zulily revenues rose 11% to $520 million, driven by an increase in the number of active users. It’s owned by Qurate Retail Group, formerly Liberty Interactive, which includes QVC and HSN, as well as catalog companies like Garnet Hill and Grandin Road.

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