Welcome to The Week in Direct-to-Consumer, a weekly roundup for marketers from Quad Insights that sums up the latest news in the DTC space.

DTC brands test programmatic podcast ads

As Apple’s 2021 privacy update continues to impact the effectiveness of social media advertising, many DTC brands are experimenting with other marketing options, such as programmatic podcast ads, Ad Age’s Phoebe Bain reports. These programmatic ads are prerecorded and not read by the podcast host, and while Bain reports that DTC spending on them has doubled year-over-year, she notes that “DTC brands interviewed by Ad Age reported mixed results when buying programmatic podcast ads across a variety of networks.” Some DTC marketers, such as Wisp VP of Brand Marketing Jennifer Dwork, shared with Bain that the convenience and low cost of programmatic make assessing ad performance easier, but others weren’t so positive. Manscaped Marketing VP Joey Kovac told Bain that programmatic ads “don’t come close to having the same impact as a host-read podcast ad.”

Bask Suncare embraces Instagram Threads

With Instagram serving as Bask’s most valuable social platform, the DTC suncare brand was an immediate adopter of Instagram Threads when it launched in July 2023, Retail TouchPoints’ Alicia Esposito reports. Threads gives Bask the opportunity to engage with its audience in a more conversational tone than Instagram by boosting “personality and humor,” Esposito says.

While Threads makes it easy for brands to embody an authentic voice, Bask Founder and CEO Mike Huffstetler tells Esposito that the platform currently lacks needed performance analytics features. “The thing we really want to see is any kind of analytics related to views and impressions,” says Huffstetler. “It would be great to not fly completely blind.”

Victoria’s Secret launches product lines for women with disabilities

Victoria’s Secret has announced the launch of its first VS- and PINK-branded product lines designed for women with disabilities. In the announcement, Victoria’s Secret said it “has a responsibility to connect with, listen to and empower people with disabilities, caregivers and their allies to drive meaningful change within the global fashion industry.” The company partnered with GAMUT Management — a consulting firm that works with and for people with disabilities — to develop the adaptive bras and panties, which feature magnetic closures, sensory-friendly fabric, one-piece construction and fully adjustable front straps. The VS and PINK adaptive lines are available now in select stores and online.

Related coverage:

• “Victoria’s Secret will sell intimate apparel for women with disabilities” (CNN)

Rhone expands into womenswear

DTC men’s apparel brand Rhone just announced it will expand into womenswear in 2024. The move was inspired by “incredible women like those who make up the majority of our company,” per Rhone’s Instagram announcement. Retail Dive’s Howard Ruben reports that the debut women’s collection is planned to launch in May and will feature “performance-driven and lifestyle pieces” priced $58 to $128 in sizes XS to XL, adding that “long-term, the brand aims to have men’s and women’s each represent 50% of its revenues.”

Related coverage:

• “Rhone to Launch Women’s Active and Lifestyle Collection” (Women’s Wear Daily)

Further reading

• “Wonderbelly expands to over 1,800 Target stores” (Retail Dive)

• “Parris Goebel’s Nike Dunk Low Marks Her First Sneaker Collaboration” (Footwear News)

• “Rubik’s Cube-owner Spin Master to buy Melissa & Doug for $950 million” (Reuters)

• “Goop Launches Mass Market Beauty and Wellness Brand” (The Business of Fashion)

• “Olipop Launches First OOH Campaign — Why It Chose Chicago” (Ad Age)

• “Why Dollar Shave Club cut its homegrown ecommerce system” (MarTech)