When you work at an internet startup, no one has ever heard of your company. Even your own parents don't really believe you when you tell them how great things are, how you're going to change the world.
"Sure, Andrew. I'm sure things are going great there. When are you getting a raise?"
Reaching millions of dollars in revenue doesn't convince your friends and family that you work for a real company. You're a private company. You can't show them public, audited financials. You can't point to a building and say, "We built that." It just isn't easy for people to understand what you're doing.
...until you run your first TV commercial.
When we launched our first commercial at TheLadders, it changed our world. Suddenly, total strangers had heard of us. I used to get blank stares from people when I told them where I worked, but then I started to get knowing nods. "TheLadders? Isn't that the company with the tennis commercial?" It was amazing. Instead of toiling away in anonymity, we were a REAL company.
Obviously, advertising has to make strategic and financial sense for a company, but you can't underestimate the morale boost for team members who see their company advertising on TV and finally get their parents to admit that they work for a real company.
Here are our three commercials: