Matt Levine: Putting ads in closets

According to Matt Levine, Hanger Network is trying to regain a good name for direct advertising. Levine, 35, is the Western accounts director for Hanger Network, the company that created EcoHangers to sell advertising on recyclable and biodegradable hangers distributed by dry cleaners.

Founded in 2004, Hanger Network is a partnership between Altivity Packaging, Paradigm Packaging and Cleaner’s Supply Inc., the nation’s largest dry-cleaning supplier.

In the three years that Hanger Network has marketed its EcoHangers, it has garnered clients such as Revlon, van Heusen, AirTran and Dunkin’ Donuts. Distributed through a proprietary agreement with 35,000 of the 38,000 dry cleaners in the U.S., advertisers are able to purchase a 100 percent view rate in a noncompetitive, private space.

“For less than the price of a stamp you have a billboard in their closet that they voluntarily carried into their home,” Levine said. “It’s one of the few ad products where you know what a consumer is doing when viewing the ad,” he said.

EcoHangers are made out of recycled paper board. They can last for up to two months, and are recyclable and biodegradable. Advertisements are printed with vegetable dyes and covered with a protective coating.

While wire hangers cost dry cleaners 8.5 cents a piece, EcoHangers are distributed to dry cleaners for free, and their cost is paid by the advertisers. The advertisers pay “just pennies per impression,” Levine said. Hanger Network calculates 4.5 cents per impression, which amounts to advertisers spending about 38 cents per hanger over its two-month lifespan.

“Consumers and companies are both embracing ecofriendly brands,” Levine said.

Hanger Network has 20 employees in offices in New York and San Francisco. Although Levine is the only employee in San Francisco, he expects the office to grow.

Prior to coming to Hanger Network, Levine was the Western regional account executive for American Lawyer Media, where he grew his territory by 60 percent in two years. He has also managed accounts at Mobile Magazine and PC Magazine. Levine graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology.

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