5 Ad Creative Strategies For Scaling A Silicon Valley D2C Start-up

Creatives Strategised & Produced

Average revenue per single creative

Average Unique CTR

Lower CPA Than Target CPA
Pools and spas are a nightmare to manage, and up to 80% of pool and spa owners manage the pools themselves.

The existing solution for pool and spa management is outdated & time-consuming. Pool and spa owners manually use test kits to take pool water samples and determine if the pool is safe to swim in.

Then, Sutro was born, the first IoT electronics product that simplifies the pool maintenance process. Sutro smart monitor automatically tells you the exact chemicals you need to put in the pool through cloud integration with a mobile app.
Introduction To Sutro From Sutro's Youtube Channel
As a startup with a new, technological breakthrough product, the challenges are:
  • An Unsophisticated Market
    The state of awareness of the product is low. So, explanations on what the product is, how different it is from existing alternatives, and why should the customers trust this product when it's completely new, need to be showcased in the ads to educate the market
  • The Desires That Motivate The Market Is Yet To Be Discovered
    Often there are several pain points that a product tries to address, but which angles/hooks/benefits the target market resonates with the most are yet to be identified.
  • High Price Needs To Be Justified
    To convince users to switch from existing, low-cost alternatives, the high cost requires extensive justifications and persuasion.
5 Creative Strategies Used To Overcome The Challenges
#1. Unconventional Ways to Hook People In
Use the Idea of evolution to emphasize that the old way of pool water testing is outdated
The prize of getting a Sutro is a clean pool and hassle-free pool maintenance
Jaw-dropping motion immediately captures people's attention and hook them into learning more about the product
#2. Evoke Feelings From Different Customer Avatars
Futuristic Ad From Manscaped

For 25-45-year-old Technophiles who like to be the earliest adopters of new technology, we strategized ads to be futuristic – the emphasis is put on the technical features of the product, the smart integration of the product with the Cloud, and the sleek design of the product.

The feeling we try to invoke is that owning this product would amount to "owning a piece of the future."

For 45 + demographics, we strategized ads that evoke the emotion of nostalgia to relate to their generation.

We hook them into our ads by bringing them back to their childhood, to when they stopped using the phone and cassette.

Then, we bring them forwards to the future, to when smart technology has made their lives much easier.
Nostalgia-inducing Ad From Motorola
#3. Old Way VS New Way

One of the best ways to showcase a new product is by comparing the existing solutions with the new solutions.

People will be more likely to try something new if they're explained how the new solution is better than what they're used to.

And comparison ads can do just that in a few benefits' highlights and visual icons that symbolize the ideas.
Comparison Ad From Sheets & Giggles
#4. Leverage UGC testimonials from recognized industry experts in the niche
Testimonial From Dave The Pool Guy, A Renowned Pool Professional
Source: Dave The Pool Guy Youtube Channel

Surprisingly, even social proof from TEDx and Tech Crunch didn't generate as much traction as well-known pool-industry professionals' testimonials.

This is due to the technicality, complexity, niche-specific, and high value of the product.

The best performing creative compiled testimonials from 2 well-known YouTubers in the pool industry. Their testimonials not only showcased the entire customer journey with the product but also compared the product with its competitors and alternatives, further convincing the target customer base.

#5. Test, Test, and Test
"Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving."

-- David Ogilvy, "The Father Of Advertising"

Indeed, this fact still holds true today.

A study conducted by Facebook in 2020 shows that the fastest-growing advertisers are actively testing 11 times more creatives than their counterparts.

We conducted weekly A/B testing experiments through testing different USPs, angles, hooks, and creative formats.

A series of tests we conducted and you can easily tweak include:
Creative formats (Video Ads, Image ads VS Carousel Ads)
Creative styles (Brand Awareness Videos VS Native Style Ads, Fast-paced VS Slow-paced Ads, Static + Video mix VS Static Image only)
Angles (Futuristic angle VS luxury-driven)
Subconscious user motivations (Evoking a sense of power for those who want to take control of their pool VS the thrill in trying out a new technology)
Different ways of conveying benefits and features (E.g. comparison ads, features & benefits popping into the product)
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