Ambassadors of Quan

October, 2019

Tai Adaya
Founder of Habit

Habit is a soon-to-launch personal care company redefining Aging. She has previously held marketing roles at high growth startups like Casper, GoodRx, and Il Makiage, managing >$35M in growth marketing capital to positive ROI.

Digital Marketing Is ‘Traditional’ Marketing Now

“Any time an idea takes shape on a particular surface -- a photo print, a screen, a billboard or canvas it becomes real.” – Virgil Abloh, Figures of Speech

Figures of Speech, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

It’s almost 2020 and we live in a world in which digital marketing costs are high (and highly commoditized) and consumers are highly fatigued by social media. Today’s emerging brands have to think beyond ‘sponsored’ in-feed Instagram posts to reach and truly engage with customers. Gone are the days when you can pop ads into Facebook and rely on paid social as your primary marketing channel. Now is a time for creativity in breaking through to customers.

TV, Out-of-Home, Radio, and Print were once considered ‘traditional’ marketing channels by the Advertising Industry. But for emerging brands, digital marketing is ‘traditional’ marketing. When growth with digital marketing plateaus, emerging brands are often lost on what to experiment with next. Influencers, retail, press, podcast, SMS, TV?

Out-of-Home is a personal favorite marketing channel and one I am often asked about. I’ve used Out-of-Home as both a launch channel and growth channel, with New York being my most frequent canvas. Out-of-Home is art brought to life, a medium for impactful visual storytelling, and an opportunity to engage with customers in their “IRL” lives. 

For emerging brands, approaching Out-of-Home can be scary. Startups are usually wary of high out-of-pocket expenses compared to digital advertising and often unsure about how to measure return on an Out-Of-Home campaign. Out-of-Home is a ‘big bet’ compared to paid social. Yes, there is risk involved. And yes, offline channels like Out-of-Home can be tougher to measure (though there are creative ways to solve the measurement problem).

But the gamble can pay off big time. A culturally-relevant, engaging Out-of-Home campaign can be vastly more economical than paid digital marketing in terms of driving impactful impressions. Good campaigns drive emotion and engagement in audiences. With the right placements, Out-of-Home campaigns can not only win attention but also drive brand love and purchase intent. Given the high costs of digital acquisition, these days I prefer leading with ‘brand’ marketing and primarily use digital marketing for lower funnel marketing, like retargeting.

I have the privilege of living in New York, the U.S. mecca of Out-of-Home, and closely watch the campaigns that pass through the city’s billboards, train stations, vehicles, and streets. Below are a few emerging brands that I think are using Out-of-Home to storytell in a culturally-intelligent and impactful way in 2019.

  • Twitter Is Campaign. What is Twitter like? It’s like unicorns, raves, and tacos. It’s the world’s largest inside joke. This campaign uses real tweets, many with little to no engagement, from real users to describe Twitter itself. Many tweets poke fun at introverts on the social network, who are mainly just talking to themselves. Isn’t that what Twitter is for anyway?

  • Sweetgreen Follow Your Greens Campaign. Sweetgreen always feels like a healthy choice. Sometimes it feels like the only healthy lunch choice. Just as I was starting to question the life choice of spending $13-$16 per day on salad, I saw Sweetgreen’s Follow Your Greens Campaign pop up in Soho. How relatable is salad in your teeth post lunch? Sweetgreen captured the tedious reality of eating a salad in a visually-arresting (almost-fashion) way. Sweetgreen, take my money!

via Lure

  • Tik Tok Another social media network killing it in the NYC Out-Of-Home world is Tik Tok. Their latest campaign captures relatable humor typically found in memes, with placements in transit stations around NYC, creating moments of humor during otherwise mundane commutes.

  • Casper Sleep Puzzles (disclosure: I am a former employee but did not work on this campaign). Casper does a wonderful job capturing and holding attention with these subway Sleep Puzzles. The campaign gives train riders something to engage with during their commute and leaves riders thinking about Sleep, and Casper, even after exiting the subway. Was it just me or did the puzzles get progressively tougher to solve?

via Inc.

  • Glowbar Launch Campaign. Glowbar is a new Skin Studio in Tribeca that did a great job generating buzz in lower Manhattan with a localized Instagram + guerilla poster campaign with pull-tabs offering free facials. Poster locations were teased on social media and winners were featured on the Brand’s Instagram stories. Although guerilla, the campaign did not feel cheap. The campaign drove scavenger-hunt like engagement. Not going to lie, I walked around Tribeca looking for a free facial.

via glowbar

Tai Adaya is Founder of Habit (

Habit is a soon-to-launch personal care company redefining Aging. She has previously held marketing roles at high growth startups like Casper, GoodRx, and Il Makiage, managing >$35M in growth marketing capital to positive ROI.

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