How a DTC shoe brand is spending more on ads across the small screen to become less reliant on Facebook

Birdies, a direct-to-consumer shoe brand, is ramping up its brand awareness efforts, investing more than 20% of ad spend for television ads, a first-time investment for the brand, to reach a broader audience.

The California-based, seven-year-old women’s shoe brand began testing across linear and streaming advertising this time last year. “Now that we have tested a lot this year and have an idea of what works for us, and we have new creative, the sky is the limit,” said Cari Roberts Cameron, Birdies’ head of marketing. She added that the brand has seen a boost in search metrics and website traffic thanks to those spots, but did not offer specifics on those metrics — or offer other, tangible examples of how it drove business, including sales.

Birdies ran two campaigns this year, including “Day in the Life” and “Customer Reviews,” across linear television channels like Bravo, Hallmark Channel and TLC, reaching its target demographic of women 35 and older.

Last year, most of Birdies ad dollars (66%) were dedicated to Facebook with next to nothing spent on linear television ads. This year, the DTC brand spent just over half (52%) of its ad dollars on Facebook and 22% on linear television ads, Cameron said. So far this year, Birdies spent more than $2.2 million on digital advertising, slightly up from the $2 million spent last year, according to Pathmatics.

Like many other DTC brands once reliant on Meta’s performance marketing tools, Birdies has spent the last year diversifying its media mix. “Obviously nobody wants to be completely reliant on Facebook anymore. Facebook is still a big part of our mix, no question,” Cameron said. “It’s still working very hard for us. But the goal is always to have your eggs in lots of different baskets.“

Birdies’ is on the right track making a longer-term investment in brand awareness via video ads, according to Claire Russell, head of media at Fitzco ad agency. She added that layering in video advertising as a brand awareness play in addition to lower-funnel, direct response channels, like social media, helps to “balance your short-term revenue generators with how the brand is going to grow.”

“Video is important, especially for a startup, because you need a place to tell your story,” Russell said in an email. “There’s only so much emotion you can communicate through a search ad or social carousel.”

Birdies’ media mix and marketing strategies change regularly as the brand looks for ways to be more effective, efficient and profitable, Cameron said. That being said, the shoe brand is placing its focus on more controllable channels, like social media, through the holiday season. It allows for flexibility, especially as this year’s holiday season comes during talk of economic uncertainty. According to a spokesperson for Birdies, nothing is set in stone for next year’s media mix.

“We’ve always been very ‘slow and steady wins the race,’” said Cameron.