The Laundry Hanger as an Advertising Touch Point

Reaching large numbers of men with advertising messages is often difficult because most ad media are fragmented; that is, they appeal to relatively small groups of people who share common interests but fail to reach large numbers whose interests are highly diverse and thus do not watch the same TV programs, read the same magazines, listen to the same radio programs, and so on. It is for this reason that advertisers and their agencies are continuously seeking media alternatives that can make contact with difficult-to-reach consumers. Enter the mundane laundry hanger as a novel point of contact.
A small New York company, Hanger Network, is generating interest from some major advertisers who are constantly searching for unique ways to reach consumers economically. Hanger Network’s advertising proposition is straightforward: It arranges with laundry-supply firms to make and distribute laundry hangers carrying advertising messages for distribution in dry cleaners throughout the United States. For example, the marketers of Mitchum deodorant used hangers as part of a multimedia campaign for its new brand of men’s deodorant named Smart Solid. Smart Solid is positioned as a brand that won’t leave a white residue on clothing as do other antiperspirants. Hanger ads for this brand carried a variety of taglines such as “You won’t find white residue on a Mitchum Man’s shirt,” “Chilidog stains are another story,” and “A Mitchum Man doesn’t wear his emotions on his sleeve, or his deodorant.” Prior to fully committing to hanger advertising, Mitchum pretested hanger ads in two cities and experienced double-digit growth in consumer brand awareness and purchase intentions by the completion of the pretest. The decision to expand the campaign in other markets was a nobrainer based on these impressive results.
Hanger Network’s ads have been used in approximately 40 percent of the 25,000 dry cleaning outlets in the United States. There have been some problems that need to be worked out, but it is likely that hanger advertising has a future. But, although it has the potential to achieve advertisers’ needs, it isn’t an inexpensive form of advertising. In fact, the price is around $45 for every thousand hangers that carry an ad, which on a cost-per-thousand basis is more expensive even than advertising during some highprofile sporting events on television!

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