"What's your superpower? I'm Ukrainian." Embroidered Clothing Store Advertising Case Study

Situational Marketing in Wartime: How We Adapted Advertising to the New Reality and Looked For New Target Audiences

Our Client: an online and brick-and-mortar store selling embroidered clothing, souvenirs, and patriotic items, delivering around Ukraine and internationally.

The Niche: embroidered clothing for men, women, children, and matching outfits for couples.

Our Task: to set up an effective advertising campaign targeted at people who value Ukrainian traditions and are passionate about authentic, patriotic clothing, and receive orders from customers in Ukraine and abroad (determine which markets have a high demand for the client's products).

The Goals: secure a stable flow of orders from the online store visitors and attract more customers to the physical store.

Problems To Solve: intense competition in the market and for ad impressions, high cost-per-click, limited advertising budget, and difficulties in reaching relevant audiences.

Project Period: January 2019 — now

Ukrainian Embroidered Clothing as the Genetic Code of the Nation

Every Ukrainian knows what an embroidered shirt is since it is not just a piece of clothing but part of the soul. The history of Ukrainian national clothing dates back to ancient times. Our hard-working ancestors had always been able to create real beauty from canvas and threads.

It is not known for sure when embroidery started to develop as an art. According to researchers, the development of embroidery has been taking place over several centuries. Year after year, our ancestors enriched the craft with new ornaments and techniques.

In recent years, embroidered clothing has significantly grown in popularity. Today, it is trendy to wear an embroidered shirt not only on national holidays but also on weekdays.

Case Description

  1. Advertising before the war

We have been working with this client for four years. During this time, we had an opportunity to study the market and test various advertising strategies and targeting methods. With us, the client went through the shift from Google Adwords to Google Ads, and we accompanied them on their way from a small local shop to a big online store, in changing their name and branding and expanding their assortment and demographics.

We set up ads in Ukraine and studied the overseas markets. Our research showed that the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada is the most active, so we devoted a separate set of campaigns and creatives to this country.

Here are ad metrics a month before the Russo-Ukrainian War:

We managed to achieve a high conversion value:

2. Wartime advertising

Following the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion into Ukraine, after agreement with the client, we reduced advertising activities to the minimum but didn’t stop them. For the first couple of weeks, we watched the situation, monitored public sentiment and advertising trends.

2.1. Google Trends audience analysis

2.2. Adjusting geographic targeting and delivering the message to the audience

Geographic targeting: we excluded ads from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and gradually switched them back as the Ukrainian military regained control over those territories.

From April 16, Google stopped showing ads on the territories of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.

Solution: with the liberation of the occupied territories, we target ads not at the entire regions but at towns and cities where delivery services resume their work.

Message to the audience: we changed the way we delivered information by focusing on supporting Ukraine, belief in the Ukrainian military, and donating part of the client's income to the military.

2.3. Creative solutions

We launched Discovery Ads, selecting audiences based on interests and keywords, and grouped them into separate ad groups.

We developed creatives for each ad group and injected text copies with specific messages:

2.4. Offline customers

The client's physical store is located in Lviv and has all the goods that are available on the website. It goes without saying that with the beginning of the war, the patriotic sentiment started to grow even more among Lviv residents, and we also noticed that people began googling for embroidered clothing more often.  


From mid-March, there started a real boom in ordering clothes featuring already iconic images and slogans:

  • Good evening, we are from Ukraine!
  • Russian warship
  • I want to steal a tank.
  • What is your superpower? I’m Ukrainian.


As soon as the online store started selling such T-shirts, we used them for the local ad campaigns.

2.5. Foreign market

We launched a Discovery campaign in the countries most Ukrainians have fled to and are supporting Ukraine.

The results

Advertising KPIs in the first month of the war, with the adjustments made to the campaigns:

We have seen gradual traffic growth and a considerable increase in conversions.

KPIs we managed to achieve:

  1. Offline visitors:
  2. Branding campaign:
  3. Search ads campaign:
  4. Discovery campaigns (Ukraine and foreign markets)
  5. Countries with most clicks and conversions:

Conclusions and recommendations

Embroidered and patriotic clothing has always been an exciting and relevant topic. The war is increasing the need for self-identification and the expression of personal position. It is essential to constantly monitor the current situation in the market, audience sentiment, experiment, and look for various ways of targeting. A sensible approach, the way you present the information, and professional ad targeting translate into successful results and impressive conversions.


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