PolyJohn Trade Pub Ads

case study

the client

PolyJohn is a family-owned, international manufacturer of portable toilets and sinks that serves portable restroom rental companies, known in the industry as portable restroom operators (PROs).

the work

One component of PolyJohn’s marketing plan is advertising in the major trade publications of the portable sanitation industry. These publications include PRO Monthly, Pumper and American Liquid Waste. PolyJohn reserves space for a monthly full-page ad in each magazine and relies on the creative team at Adventure to bring the ad to fruition.

We first collaborated with PolyJohn on this initiative for the December 2018 issues. After reviewing previous editions, we identified an opportunity to make PolyJohn’s ads stand out from others, particularly those of direct competitors. Many of the other companies’ ads were generic, plain and, frankly, easy to forget. We decided to take a much more artistic approach to create designs that were eye-catching and memorable, along with copy that spoke to the pain points of PROs and explained how PolyJohn could help.

Our first ad was Christmas-themed and featured Santa Claus next to a PolyJohn portable toilet with reindeer in the background. Since then, we’ve largely taken a seasonal approach where the ad is designed with a theme associated with the major holiday that month. We’ve also used the trade pub ads to announce new product releases, promote upcoming events or advertise the most in-demand products at that particular time.

For consistency, we utilize an established template for the footer so that each ad includes the PolyJohn logo, headquarters address, phone number, product collage and a callout with URLs to download PolyJohn’s Product & Buyer’s Guides. We also created a unique GURL for each publication that directs to the PolyJohn homepage and allows us to track which publication the visitors are coming from.

We have designed dozens of ads, and the initiative continues today. We’ve received positive feedback on many of them from PolyJohn management and, more importantly, PROs themselves. One ad in particular that received public praise was the humorous February 2021 Valentine’s Day edition that featured Cupid, a woman struck by his arrow and a portable toilet she fell in love with. A picture of the ad was posted on a popular industry Facebook group. Here is a sampling of the comments:

  • It’s great. Perfect advertising. It doesn’t matter if you use them or not, you’ll still remember that ad. That’s advertising done right.
  • I love it. I always just take the magazine and flip through it quick. This jumped off the page at me. … Advertising at its finest.
  • Love it!

To date, the following PolyJohn website and landing page activity can be directly attributed to the trade pub ads:

  • 250+ users
  • 400+ sessions
  • 2,600+ page views
  • 200+ goal completions
  • 150+ Product and/or Buyer’s Guide downloads

This does not include the immeasurable impressions the ads made and the web traffic the ads generated from readers who didn’t use the GURL but instead used the general PolyJohn.com URL.

We look forward to continuing to create unique ads for PolyJohn and generating interest in their products.

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