An online ad trial by La Senza using social networking and sports web sites has been a resounding success.

Working with media agency Blowfish Digital, La Senza invested in a seven-week online display campaign in the run-up to Christmas, which achieved a 600 per cent return on investment.

It targeted both male and female consumers aged 18 to 45. The campaign was the first time La Senza had targeted men through online marketing.

La Senza e-commerce manager Greg Saunders said the success of the campaign had been second only to marketing through Google in terms of the return achieved.

He added that display ads on sports web sites and MySpace had worked particularly well. Working with Blowfish Digital enabled La Senza to narrow down and target customers through the campaign, he said.

Blowfish Digital reviewed the campaign on a daily basis, shifting ad spend around and changing advertising creative in order to maximise the click-through rate and overall sales generated.

Saunders said that La Senza would consider doing similar campaigns again, although there had not been time to get something similar planned and running for Valentine’s Day.

Blowfish Digital managing director Farhad Koodoruth said that online display advertising works well for retailers when used tactically at certain times of the year, such as for special promotions.

However, he warned that retailers must not consider different marketing channels in isolation. La Senza’s campaign was planned taking into account its existing online search and affiliate marketing activity.