Inspiration, Strategy

How Jockey® Delivers on a History of Advertising Innovation

By Julia Michaelis

Jockey’s history began in 1876 with wool socks crafted just for lumberjacks. Founded with the belief that everyone should have quality and comfort in their everyday wear, their brand has kept those beliefs close.

Jockey has since evolved from wool socks, to the first Jockey® brief and now produces quality products across underwear, activewear, loungewear and more. Each item delivers their brand promise of durability, quality and innovation — themes that have been at the heart of Jockey’s brand and customer experience since its inception.

However, the products aren’t the only innovations created by Jockey over the 145 years they have under their belt.

As one of the world’s most recognizable brands, their marketing team has been working as hard as their products. Their impressive marketing and advertising history includes a celebrity endorsement with Babe Ruth and one of the first underwear fashion shows in 1938 — “The Cellophane Wedding.”  If that history wasn’t impressive enough, Jockey was even the first fabric on the moon — designed for anti-gravity environments and worn by Neil Armstrong when he took his famous first steps.

Needless to say, Jockey has uncompromisingly high standards for their incredible marketing campaigns and advertising. So when the Jockey marketing team identified a wrinkle in their plan, they knew they had to push beyond what’s possible to iron it out.

A Wrinkle in the Plan

2020 introduced a digital boom in retail. With customers continuing to spend more and more time online, traffic was increasing while the effectiveness of digital advertising to drive revenue was decreasing. The team at Jockey noticed “their increased ad budgets to capitalize on this trend and drive traffic to their site wasn’t generating the revenue they expected”. As such, they knew they had to revise their ad strategy and go beyond traditional audience targeting methods to reach shoppers on a smaller, hyper-targeted level to capture their shopper’s attention and deliver a more relevant shopping experience that resulted in a purchase. So they began their search for a solution to improve performance and increase the efficiency of their advertising spend by identifying the right shoppers with the right products and offers.

The Jockey team didn’t have to look far to discover new solutions to optimize their digital advertising. After noticing the success of their email marketing team to target audiences on granular levels based on first party data and predicted product preferences with Bluecore, the team wanted to apply those same tactics to their digital advertising. This way, they could allocate spend on customers who were most likely to engage and convert. This goal led Jockey to Bluecore and Criteo.  

Experimenting Toward a Goal 

The Jockey team decided to set a goal of improving sales by 15% with Bluecore Advertise™ and Criteo over a 3-month period. The hypothesis was that with Bluecore Advertise™, Jockey could bring the same level of targeting with first party data to paid media channels that they already experienced on email and extend that to their display advertising with Criteo. 

Bluecore Advertise™ offers pre-built predictive models based on a retail-specific AI that allows Jockey to gain more contextual insight into shoppers’ buying preferences, channel affinities and even where they fall in their buying cycle. These models enabled Jockey to make better use of first-party customer and product data to get highly personalized in how and when the team targets customers based on key goals like increasing repeat purchase rates and growing customer lifetime value. With Criteo, Jockey now had the capability to extend those audience insights and targeting capabilities across the open web with display advertising. 

“We just didn’t have the ability to build these types of predictive audiences before. We could build audiences of past purchasers, but that was very backward looking. Now, Bluecore takes all of these different signals from our site and overall engagement to build predictive audiences that capitalize on shopper intent. That future view is a big step forward for us.”
Mark Mraz, Senior Director of Marketplace, SEM & Finance

Ultimately, the Jockey team saw a 36% increase in conversion rate in three months and a 41.5% higher conversion rate for top 30% predicted lifetime value campaigns with Bluecore and Criteo.

With this test-and-learn strategy, the Jockey team was moving quickly toward their goal of capturing lost revenue with a new partnership and creating contextually relevant and timely experiences to keep shoppers engaged.

Forging Boldly Ahead With an Eye Toward the Holidays

Jockey has plans to continue increasing advertising revenue in creative new ways, and the team is positioned to keep improving customer experiences and discovering what’s possible with the right data. Right now, the Jockey team is thinking about how they can mix up the audiences they target, with an eye towards the holidays by targeting lapsed holiday shoppers.

“We want to continue to get more specific in terms of how we build audiences to help us narrow in on what customers are likely to do next. Our continued goal for Bluecore and Criteo is to keep increasing efficiency to make our marketing dollars go even further.”
Mark Mraz, Senior Director of Marketplace, SEM & Finance

From 19th century lumberjacks to 21st century customers, Jockey proves that with creativity, an eye towards the future, and a willingness to push boundaries — there’s no shopper you can’t support. Read Jockey’s story to see how they lived their brand promise of durability, quality and innovation and increased return on ad spend with Bluecore Advertise™ and Criteo (and get all the details on how they did it).

Julia Michaelis

Julia is Content Marketing Manager at Bluecore. Julia has been telling stories about personalization and interoperability in data and technology for three years in education, and is excited to do the same in retail. Julia lives in Brooklyn with her terrier Lee and loves shopping, paddleboarding, and reading (in that order).