Warby Parker Spends Most On TV Ads, Health Brands Beef Up Buys

Direct-to-consumer brands are still embracing TV advertising, with spending levels even with the first quarter. A new report from Alphonso TV finds that health and wellness brands are especially active and the largest category in its sample, with an outlay of $21.6 million in the second quarter. Diet and nutrition brands came next, at $20.8 million.

Warby Parker was by far the biggest spender, at $10 million. Roman, the men’s health brand, was second at close to $8 million. Noom, the behavioral weight-loss app, at $7 million, is No. 3. Hims, another men’s health brand, and Freshly, the fully prepared meals service, round out the top five, both spending close to $6 million in the quarter.

Those five companies accounted for 60% of the spending in the quarter, Alphonso says. Ad outlays are in line with the first quarter, indicating that D2C marketers are still hopeful that pandemic-weary viewers are receptive to new brands.

The category saw a considerable uptick from June 2020 onward, after pausing during shelter-in-place orders. Spending in June doubled, as compared to the beginning of April. But it’s still 48% below last year’s TV investments.

Alphonso is keeping a close eye on the health/telemedicine segment, where brands it tracks dialed up spending 49%. Besides Roman, Rory, a company offering menopause solutions, and Keeps, with products aimed at preventing hair loss, are among the top 10 in quarterly spending.

And NURX, specializing in birth control, is among the brands with the largest increases for the quarter, as are Roman and Noom.

Billie, the women’s grooming brand, also increased TV ad outlays. That helped propel the personal hygiene category to a gain of 42%, compared to a year ago.

CNN is the favorite ad buy, with more than double the revenue than either Fox News or MSNBC. Alphonso TV, a New York-based company that measures TV ads and audience, says the three shows chosen most often by D2C advertisers are “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon,” “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” and “Friends" (reruns, of course).

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