Etro Japan Digital Advertising (PPC)

Client Details

Industry Luxury Italian consumer fashion.
Product Leather bags & goods, clothing and accessories.
Target market High-end Japanese consumers.
Objective Increasing e-commerce sales and brand awareness by pay-per-click advertising on Facebook, Instagram, Google search, YouTube, Performance Max, and LINE ads.

What We Achieved

Humble Bunny case study for Etro Japan all users vs cpc ads medium filtered

*Etro Japan all users vs traffic from ads filtered.

The above proved that our direct response marketing strategies can be successful in generating sales even when the brand awareness in the market is relatively low, and there are well-established competitors (which is incredibly challenging in Japan where brand affiliation for industry giants like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, or Prada is exceptionally high).


Apart from skyrocketing client’s e-commerce sales, we were also able to:

  • Build lasting brand awareness that supported both digital and offline channels
  • Driven substantial traffic to the website, and retargeted it efficiently (+303.61% increase in sessions from CPC before vs after the project)
  • Maintained high traffic quality (only a 2.35% increase in bounce rate, and a 12.56% improvement in average session duration, while the overall users increased by 229.2%)
  • Proactively recommended SEO and CRO optimizations on the website (which also improved the conversion rate of the ads)

Project Details

Italian luxury fashion brand Etro reached out to us for help with an omnichannel digital advertising strategy, support, and optimization for the Japanese market.

Considering the client’s needs to build local brand awareness in the market, but also generate sales through an e-commerce platform, we have proposed the following media mix:

  • Google search ads: an excellent tool for precisely targeting shoppers right when they are searching for Etro brand and products.
  • Performance Max: leveraging Google AI to generate conversions across all Google properties and covering the blindspots of search campaigns.
  • YouTube ads: using video format combined with interest, in-market, and custom audience targeting, as well as topic and placement optimizations, this was our primary choice for building lasting brand awareness.
  • Meta ads: building custom and lookalike audiences as well as advanced retargeting with dynamic product ads positioned Meta as one of our primary channels for conversions.
  • LINE ads: local medium used by almost all demographic groups in Japan, perfect for building brand awareness and driving website traffic at scale.

Converting Shoppers Right When They Are In Purchase Mindset With Search Ads

Humble Bunny case study for Etro Japan project Google search ads CTR

*+40.8% increase in Google search CTR while reducing the average CPC by over 33.5%.

We kicked off this part of the project with:

  • An in-depth keyword research using industry-leading tools
  • Extracting brand UVPs, keywords, and aligning with tone of voice (especially important for luxury brands)
  • Analyzing competitors, market, and search intents around the core topics

This allowed us to hit the ground running and produce results in the first weeks of launching the ads.

However, the real value and ROI was achieved through relentless testing and optimizations:

  • Regular keyword audits and adding negative keywords
  • Copy testing and refreshments
  • Use of keyword insertion tool
  • Extension copy testing and optimizations
  • Building brand awareness that led to an increase in branded search volumes (this one is often overlooked

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Tapping Into the Power Of Automation With Performance Max

Humble Bunny case study for Etro Japan project Performance Max conversions

*+72.81% average number of conversions increase month on month with Performance Max campaign.

Performance Max allowed us to access all of the Google ads inventory like YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail, and Maps through one campaign – and really tap into the AI advertising automation for maximized sales results while covering the blind spots of the search campaigns.

A big misconception is that Performance Max is a ‘set and forget’ type of campaign – we see this mistake with a lot of junior advertisers! The truth is, to consistently achieve high sales results with this campaign, it is necessary to build a healthy data DNA of the ad account by:

  • setting and regularly updating the audience signals
  • optimizing and updating the product feed
  • connecting Google Analytics with Google ads account and turning on data-driven attribution
  • refreshing the image, video, and text assets
  • optimizing the ROAS goals and testing different asset groups
  • …and much more!

We would definitely recommend testing a lot of optimizations, or… reaching out to professionals who can take care of it for you.

Building Lasting Brand Awareness With YouTube Ads

Humble Bunny case study for Etro Japan project YouTube ads video view rate

*+182% video view rate increase over the course of the project.

We also utilized YouTube ads as our primary choice for building lasting brand awareness, which heavily supported all other channels (including Google search and Meta ads retargeting which led to final conversions). With smart CPM goal setting and a mix of keyword, custom, interest, and in-market audiences (along with placement and topic optimizations) we were able to consistently increase the YouTube video ad view rate.

Learn more about branding in Japan or let our experts establish your brand and boost sales in the Japanese market.

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Advanced Retargeting With Dynamic Product Ads On Facebook and Instagram

  • +33% average CTR increase in the first 4 months of the project (while reducing CPC by an average of -15.66% month on month)
  • 4-digit (1,000%+) ROAS on the best-performing retargeting strategy
Humble Bunny case study for Etro Japan project Facebook ads short term CTR & CPC

*Increase in CTR and simultaneous drop in CPC with retargeting ads.

  • +14% average monthly CTR improvements (for both cold and warm audiences) with 2 drops related to seasonality:

Humble Bunny case study for Etro Japan project Facebook Ads CTR

*Etro Japan Facebook ads CTR increase.

We employed Meta ads as one of our primary channels for retargeting. We built custom and lookalike audiences as well as advanced retargeting with dynamic product ads to maximize results. As with each advertising platform, curiosity, endless testing, and chasing perfection with our optimizations allowed us to consistently keep increasing the CTR by 14% on average month on month (with only 2 drops related to seasonality).

We also tapped into the power of automation with an Advantage+ Shopping campaign that nicely complimented our manual cold and warm audience retargeting campaigns.

Want to learn more about our advanced strategies? Check out our blog ‘Japanese Facebook Ads – 10 PPC Mistakes to Avoid’. Or contact one of our experts for a customized Facebook ads strategy for the Japanese market!

Leveraging Local Platforms To Maximize Awareness and Traffic With LINE Ads

Humble Bunny case study for Etro Japan project LINE ads ppc ad example
As the LINE platform is used by over 70% of the Japanese population, it was an excellent choice for building local brand awareness across all generations and a variety of demographic groups. LINE ads allowed us to also retarget the large pool of LINE friends (followers) the Etro brand has established in the market to re-engage them and drive them to the Etro website.

We made full use of advanced targeting features within the LINE platform:

  • Custom audiences (including LINE friends, website visitors, customer lists)
  • Lookalike audiences
  • Interest and in-market audiences
  • Dynamic product feed ads

Not sure if LINE is a good platform for your brand? Check our ‘Japan’s Top Social Media Networks for 2023’ article for an up-to-date overview of the best social platforms to add to your marketing strategy this year or see other success stories of our clients.

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