How do you sell something no one wants to talk about? For its first work for Roman, an erectile dysfunction medication subscription, Circus Maximus created videos that are full of cringeworthy and familiar sexual imagery. Think: a man throwing a football through a tire ("I bet you'd never guess, while my arm still works, my penis is less reliable"); one wiping his car's oil gauge ("Welcome to an automotive allegory"); and a couple in separate bathtubs looking out on mountains (they have no idea why they're there). The campaign included social spots and a slick website. Up against well-endowed competition and with a limited media budget of only $25,000, Circus Maximus says the strategy allowed Roman to exceed subscription forecasts by 80 percent and that positive sentiment on the videos was over 87 percent.
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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article said the Circus Maximus campaign for Roman helped the client secure its Series B investor funding. Roman has not announced funding beyond a seed round.