GoRuck: From Community Building to Ad Efficiency

Common Thread Collective

by Common Thread Collective

Jun. 12 2024

Welcome back to another episode of "Outliers," where we examine the top-performing ads that built some of our favorite ecommerce brands.

Every episode of this series examines the creative performance of one brand to show just how exceptional some ads are. Then we break those ads apart and try to understand what they can teach us.

Today, we're exploring a behemoth in the fitness space that has grown without relying heavily on paid media: GoRuck.

This incredible fitness brand has built a passionate community and a deep audience for its products, leading to impressive ad performance and unique creative strategies.


The best brands scale and grow their businesses and ad accounts through outstanding marketing and community efforts. These efforts allow the ad account to serve in a context where customers already care about the brand, value the business, and are eager to try products that reinforce an identity they care about.

GoRuck is a prime example of this approach, thriving without depending on paid media.

GoRuck, a business built around training vests, weights, and other fitness equipment, primarily serves the CrossFit community but also attracts a broader set of fitness enthusiasts worldwide. Despite their immense popularity, GoRuck's ad account is relatively immature, meaning they haven't spent much money or energy using paid media as the primary mechanism to drive demand.

To understand their success, let's dive into some stats …

  • Total Ads: 773
  • Average Spend per Ad: $825
  • High-Performing Ads: 3.75% (one standard deviation above the mean)

This high success rate of ads relative to the mean expectation is almost double that of other brands we've analyzed. The efficiency these ads have produced is astronomical, with one of the highest return on ad spend (ROAS) accounts we've ever seen with this low spend volume.

Utilizing Dynamic Product Ads (DPA) and Dynamic Creative Testing (DCT)

GoRuck's success can be attributed to its strategic use of Dynamic Product Ads (DPA). Historically, their ads have sat almost exclusively at the bottom of the funnel, capturing the demand generated by the brand itself.

For example, one of their highest-performing ads was a DPA campaign launched in mid-April when we started running the ad account. This ad's success highlights the power of dynamic ads in capturing pre-existing demand.

GoRuck outlier DPA ads

This works because GoRuck is already doing lots of work around social fitness clubs and events, tribe training, and monthly recurring programs.

This brand does so much to drive ongoing engagement in their community …

From a marketing and effort standpoint, it makes the Facebook account serve a slightly different purpose. Even though this ad is inside a DABA campaign (Dynamic Ad Broad Audience) prospecting with product-on-white imagery, GoRuck’s existing work within the community means this ad can efficiently capture existing demand.

In addition to DPAs, GoRuck has also experimented with Dynamic Creative Testing (DCT). This method involves using various creative elements that meta dynamically selects for delivery.

GoRuck outlier DCT lifestyle ads

We don't talk a whole lot about DCT ads at CTC, because we don't generally run things in dynamic creative testing. That's because we usually want to leverage product-specific offers and don't often have that many units across it.

But one standout ad in GoRuck’s account is a DCT ad featuring the Rucker 4.0 backpack, showcasing different color variations and demographic targets.

This approach allows Meta to deliver the most relevant ad variations to potential customers, leading to impressive ROAS.

The context in which the ad exists that determines the efficiency of performance.

Nobody would look at any one of these individual static images and find anything incredibly novel. The headline just says “Rucker 4. 0,” but GoRuck puts all of its marketing effort to deliver and build a community and connections to ensure many people have heard of them.

They have a positive reputation and an amazing product.

When their product shows up in people's feeds, it's not their very first touch point … even if it is, it's often reinforced following the experience with the ad with really high-quality touch points with individuals.

The end result is something that works extremely well.

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Common Thread Collective

Common Thread Collective is the leading source of strategy and insight serving DTC ecommerce businesses. From agency services to educational resources for eccomerce leaders and marketers, CTC is committed to helping you do your job better.

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