How to advertise a new category?

“Am I going to find my place in the world or make my place in the world?” ― Christopher Lochhead

How do I advertise a new category?

Here’s my hot take:

Most people are better off serving an existing category than creating a new one.

But advertisers like us are fascinated by new categories. We love educating customers and coming up with ad concepts that have never been done before. It tickles our brains – and we like it.

If you are someone who loves promoting a new category as much as I do. Buckle up, we’re going to learn how to advertise a new category without banging our heads against the wall.

In this newsletter, I’m tearing down Lomi and how they advertise a new category. But if you have never gone deep into category creation, here are 3 resources I recommend:

So, let’s learn how to advertise a new category.

Wait, but what’s the product? It’s called Lomi.

Lomi is a revolutionary appliance that turns waste into dirt. It works with a wide array of materials, including fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds and filters, eggshells, paper towels, cardboard, and even meat scraps and bioplastics.

Here’s the official definition of category creation by Christoph Lochead & his fellow authors: Category creation is the process of designing and establishing a new market category, which is different from just creating a product or a service.

Today's most exciting companies create categories. They sell us differently – not just better. They solve problems we didn't even know we had. This is the real genius of Amazon, Salesforce, Uber, IKEA and others. They are category kings.

These companies excel not by trying to be better than everyone else but by creating and then dominating their own market categories. Uber, for example, carved a new digital transportation category out of the huge analog marketplace for personal transportation made up of taxis, limos, rental cars, public transportation and driving yourself in your own car.

You can't build a legendary new company without first building a substantial new category in the marketplace. To play bigger, you have to position yourself as the leader in that category – because you're different – and then convince everyone that this new category is going to be a very big deal. To achieve this, you have to:

  • Develop a point of view – which explains why you exist and what you will do for the world.

  • Condition the market – help consumers understand which problem you solve for them.

  • Design an ecosystem – a community of supporters, partners, colleagues, and evangelists.

  • Fire up a lightning strike – do something to shock the market and get attention.

  • Establish yourself and then keep expanding your category – build on your position and move outward and upward.

Category kings start out as pirates, dreamers, and innovators. The truly legendary kings leave the scene as heroes. Category is the new strategy.

– Al Ramadan, Dave Peterson, Christopher Lochhead and Kevin Maney

Now that we’ve ironed out the fact that category creators dominate the market and we know what Lomi does, let’s learn how they advertise.

There are moments of genius in their ads, so keep an eye out for them.

Important: For a better appreciation of the ads, I recommend watching the ads first. These ads are hosted on Foreplay, a great platform that allows me to save ads for inspiration (even after the brands have deleted them.) They also have a discovery feature where I find good ad concepts to steal.

This ad has been running for more than 40 days, so it’s proven.

What immediately stands out:

  • It felt like a founder ad

  • He starts with the enemy aka problem

  • The ad focuses on a marketing principle according to Loewy: “Most Advanced Yet Acceptable” – aka MAYA. He said, to sell something surprising, make it familiar, and

    to sell something familiar, make it surprising.” The founder kept using words that focused on the advanced or non-advanced side of a household: modern kitchen, carbon negative, laundry by hand, and “time to get smart about food waste.”

  • The ad made sure we can relate with all of the problems we have regarding food waste and what to do about it.

What can we learn from this ad:

  • Start with the problem that the product solves, not the “Hi, my name is X, and here’s my story” kind of founder ad. You can always introduce yourself later.

  • The ad made sure we feel “disgusted” by the current solution: food waste in trash bins

  • The bigger enemy is not even food waste, “it is our government that wants us to believe certain things” – Who is the bigger enemy? It’s not the product, it is the Point-of-View (POV) that you are being led on.

  • The script matching the visual – I have not seen a better match than in this video.

  • To further understand the script, let’s look at some interesting elements that I found.


  • Focus on the BIG problem and make it visual

  • Fight the BIG enemy and ask questions that make people think

  • Don’t introduce yourself first, introduce the problem first

  • Apply MAYA principle and tell about the new way of doing things

  • Don’t sell, focus on educating your audience learn more

This ad has been running for 108 days. I’m damn sure we can learn something from it.

What immediately stands out:

  • The hook: What if you can get rid of your kitchen garbage with the push of a button? Honestly, this is a pretty powerful hook. Now think how you can use “What if...” for your brand.

  • Added social proof: 100,000 folks have adopted Lomi and the “reviews have been incredible”

  • Reaction social proof: The first response when someone sees Lomi

  • Making people want the product too with the problems and imagination

  • Using Lomi: It’s like unburning mn pounds coals – It’s a BIG deal

  • Use of Labor Illusion: People have a tendency to perceive products and services more favorably when they're aware of the effort that was put into creating it. How Lomi used it: “To create Lomi, we spent more than 3 years completing thousands of composts tests”

  • Rhetorical copywriting: Lomi takes care of your garbage so you don’t have to

  • Fighting the enemy: Food waste accounts for 330bn pounds of garbage in North America

  • Desire: Cutting carbon footprint by up to half

  • CTA: Join the movement – Looking for a tribe (aka Play Bigger book ideas)

What we can learn from this ad:

  • Hook: “What if…” automatically introduces a better way of doing things

  • Call out early believers who don’t like the old way, find your tribe

  • Use social proof to make a point and then keep doing more of it

  • Hit the ethical need of saving the environment and fighting the old way of doing things

  • And learn from the structure of the script – it’s beautiful

This script and video teach so many ad lessons, I only covered a few. Which ones did you observe?

What immediately stands out:

  • Showing the magic of Lomi within a few seconds

  • Delighting the audience with unboxing and how to use the product

  • The hook: Last time I did this video, I got a lot of questions. I want to know more too.

What we can learn from this video:

  • Don’t disregard your “already problem-aware users” to lead with education and show how to use it – and the magic of it.

Talking about magic, watch this video – Crafting The Perfect Marketing Message with Matthew Bertulli. It’s about how he crafted the marketing message in the minds of consumers.

What immediately stands out:

  • Definitely inspired by Dollar Shave Club

  • Pleasantly saying No

  • Opens up more use cases and ideas for consumers

What we can learn:

  • Answer prospects’ objections playfully to make them believe it is a GREAT product. Make it easy for them to see the value, not the price tag

So, the question still remains, how to advertise a new category:

  • Educate the market by calling out the better life

  • Educate the market by making their problems OBVIOUS

  • Educate the market: the new way is a better way and the old way sucks

  • Call out early believers who care about your POV

  • Embed social proof and reaction videos in your ads

  • Find your tribe by making them imagine and believe

  • Fight the enemy: in this case, the environment and government policies

  • Address the objections upfront to make it easy to buy

I also woke up David Ogilvy from his Graveyard to answer this question via ChatGPT, I’d say the answer isn’t that bad, we can learn something from him here too:

And that’s all for this week. If I were you, I’d read this newsletter twice and probably implement some ideas immediately. I am signing off now to do this myself, see you next week.

Did I share my favorite marketing newsletters lately? Here are a few:

Happy Growing with Paid Social,

Aazar Shad

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