Social & Influencers

Why Manscaped is leaning into ads on Tumblr

The brand is seeing results on the platform as it makes its way back into the zeitgeist.
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Francis Scialabba

· 4 min read

As the old saying goes, one man’s Twitter is another man’s Tumblr. Or something like that.

On the same day that Elon Musk struck a deal to buy Twitter, Tumblr saw a 19% increase in new user signups relative to average daily user signups, a Tumblr spokesperson told Marketing Brew after its CEO Matt Mullenweg tweeted about the bump.

But one could argue Tumblr has been making its return to the zeitgeist for months now. Vogue proclaimed the “2014 Tumblr Girl Is Back” in January. Advertisers seem to be taking more interest in the platform: Direct ad sales rose 230% year over year in Q4 of last year, although Tumblr didn’t share exact figures, according to Adweek.

And at men’s grooming company Manscaped, marketers told us they’ve been bullish on Tumblr for months now, executing both a paid and organic strategy on the platform.

Tumblin’ into Tumblr

Tyler Wentworth, Manscaped’s director of social media, told us via email that Gen Z is a “core segment of [the brand’s] most avid fans and followers,” adding that they’re a significant and growing demographic within the brand’s customer base.

Roughly half of Tumblr’s users are Gen Z—last year, the company told the Wall Street Journal that more than 48% of its users fall within that demo. Tumblr didn’t share user figures with Marketing Brew, but Similarweb says its site gets around 300 million visitors per month.

“We first tested Tumblr in late 2020, but at that time they were still building out their ad capabilities and we didn’t see strong enough performance to continue testing,” Jenny Broekemeier, senior manager of paid social at Manscaped, told us over email.

But that’s no longer the case, according to Broekemeier. She explained that when Manscaped began retesting paid ads in 2022, she saw a drastic improvement: This year, she said Manscaped has spent 50% fewer ad dollars on Tumblr than it did in 2020…and drove 524% more revenue. “We consistently see a lot of engagement on our ads, especially reblogs, that help our content to get additional earned reach,” Broekemeier continued.

She also noted that Manscaped hasn’t seen many of its competitors on Tumblr, which allows it to “reach a niche audience with a high share of voice,” adding that Manscaped currently pays the lowest CPMS on Tumblr compared to other social channels. What’s more, she said the platform has been “very competitive” with traditionally performance-driven channels like Facebook.

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The team hopes Tumblr’s recent boost in users helps it become more of an evergreen channel for them. “Reach and frequency are always a concern on smaller platforms, so it’s encouraging to see them continuing to build up their user base,” Broekemeier said.

Grass-fed, organic, gluten-free marketing

Wentworth told us the brand, which started its Tumblr channel in July 2020, started posting organic content two to three times a week this quarter as a result of its recent paid success. “From what we’ve seen, meme-style content poking fun at our advertising, or repurposing popular jokes we’ve published to Twitter, have been performing best,” he told us over email.

Wentworth added that some Manscaped Tumblr content generates even better engagement than posts on Instagram or Twitter. In conjunction with its paid advertising efforts, Wentworth said, Manscaped now has 10k followers on the platform.

“It’s safe to say that’s the quickest Manscaped has grown to 10,000 followers on any social media channel we’ve launched,” he said. “Tumblr has great discoverability capabilities with hashtags and various niche communities you can tap into, which are ultimately the right variables for organic social media success.”

Lia Zneimer, former head of social media at WeWork and current head of branding and content marketing at career platform Teal, told us that if she was working at a company targeting Gen Z, she’d be curious about Tumblr as a marketing platform.

Like Broekemeier, she also acknowledged the potential benefits of getting on a platform before a lot of competition is there. But Zneimer argued that brands shouldn’t necessarily jump down the Tumblr rabbit hole just because the platform is trendier than it was a few years ago.

“There’s a very fine line between jumping on a trend just because it’s trendy and wanting to be there, versus actually having a reason to be there and cultivating that in a smart way,” she said.

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