Innovation

How to Make Unmentionables Marketable

Advertising some products is taboo. So men's underwear brand MyPakage had to get creative

Written by Dez Price
Photo: Adrian Armstrong. Prop styling: Christine Brant/Plutino Group

Dez Price is co-founder of Canadian underwear brand MyPakage. The company’s patented keyhole system for men’s undergargments has been described as a “one bedroom apartment for your junk.” Price reveals the strategy that landed MyPakage’s boxer briefs in 1,000 stores across North America.

LET THE PRODUCT DO THE TALKING

We’re trying to make undergarments for men cool. Underwear hasn’t been cool since Marky Mark. So far, the key has been to just get the product on people’s bodies, so 30% of our marketing budget goes to promo product that we give away. Once they’ve tried it, people can’t help but tell others about it. I’ve seen a guy in his mid-40s stand up at a table in Whistler Village, whip his pants down and tell the whole group he’s with that “MyPakage are the greatest things I’ve ever put on!”

BE EDGY, BUT NOT TOO EDGY

We run a lot of product testimonials in our marketing materials. But now that we’re starting to entertain bigger clients across North America, we can’t be quite as edgy as we were when we first launched. One testimonial we had to retire described MyPakage as something like, “a hot female cupping my package.”

TRUST YOUR GUT—NOT EXPERTS

When you go into Hudson’s Bay or Dick’s Sporting Goods in the U.S., 99% of the underwear comes in a white package, and it’s got some guy with six-pack abs wearing the product. Our packaging is black and you can reach in and feel the fabric. We’ve had mentors tell us we have to put models on the boxes. It’s hard when you’re talking to the guy who started Joe Boxer and you have to say, “No, we’re good.” We’re just going to do our own thing.

CHOOSE A CHANNEL THAT WORKS

Print and TV advertising don’t make a lot of sense for us, so we started a program that now lives on Instagram where we challenge people to post photos of themselves doing rad stuff—last year’s winner was a guy flying off a rope swing in his underwear—and give points for doing something awesome and getting a great photo featuring our product. The grand prize winner gets a surf trip to Costa Rica. Showing people doing rad stuff has kind of turned into our whole messaging at this point.

This article is from the How To package from the August 2015 issue of Canadian BusinessSubscribe now!

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Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com