Following its no-expense-spared debut ad earlier this year, budget shopping app Temu looks set to make another Super Bowl appearance.
The Boston-based, Chinese-owned company is currently in talks to buy another ad spot, in an effort to take even more market share from Shein and Amazon. However, negotiations haven’t been finalized, according to a company spokesperson.
Despite ending 2023 having lost $3.56 billion, Temu still takes the top spot on the iOS App Store — a position it’s held for the majority of the year.
Will It Be Second Time Lucky?
Until recently, Temu was only really used and talked about among younger, more price-conscious generations interested in purchasing anything from beauty goods and apparel to household items and electronics at a seriously discounted price. This meant its initial spot was an introduction to the app for millions of Americans and caused a 45% surge in downloads after it had aired.
The playful 30–second commercial was split across two slots and featured a female adding multiple outfits to her shopping cart, which would suddenly appear on her once purchased. The campaign itself was built around the “shop like a billionaire” tagline that the brand has become famous for.
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As well as the high price tag for the spot, the cost of producing the commercial didn't come cheap. However, Super Bowl ad real estate is typically considered essential and one of the most important dates in a marketing team’s calendar.
However, judging by PDD Holdings (Temu’s owners) past approach to aggressive promotion — particularly when challenging competitors Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and JD.com Inc. — its second stab at the Super Bowl should come as no surprise.
This Year's Holiday Deals
As well as these all-out promotional efforts, Temu looked to capitalize on this year's holiday demand by pushing some seriously heavy discounts. Take its recent Cyber Week Clearance campaign for example, where shoppers could get up to 90% off products, with some items starting at just $0.39.
These prices, combined with the current cost-of-living crisis, are no doubt the reason for the app’s rise in popularity. But just how is the bargain basement retailer able to offer such deals, while retaining heavy sums of cash to pump into marketing?
How Is Temu Doing It?
Extreme brand exposure is largely behind Temu’s loss leader strategy when entering foreign markets. This, plus significant backing and direct connections to Chinese wholesalers via PDD Holdings, means Temu can significantly undercut its competition.
And it’s not just the online space that Temu is managing to hold its own in either. Aside from Shein and Amazon, the app’s growth has even superseded major retailers like Target.
While confirmation on 2024’s ad spot is still to be announced, when you pair the above success with the huge impact of its initial Super Bowl commercial, you can see why the company would come back for more.