Fresh and Funny: Viral Ad Works on Me
I’m not one of those extreme couponing types, but I usually hit the grocery store armed with an envelope full of coupons. It’s always nice to combine coupons with items that are on special – especially razor blades, those pricey packs that cost an underarm and a leg. But now thanks to the Web start-up subscription-based business, Dollar Shave Club, I have fewer coupons to clip.
I saw this for the first time on my husband’s Facebook page. I thought it was a joke. After we were done laughing, we became members. Our first shipment arrives in May. It was supposed to be here in April, but we received a friendly, apologetic email explaining that the Santa Monica fulfillment center has been crazy busy since the ad launched March 5 and that the Korean- and Chinese-made blades were on back order.
We’ve rarely been this motivated by an ad. But this one is so good; it slices straight through all the noise. In fact, Dollar Shave Club doesn’t even play on same playground as Gillette and Schick. This is an internet-only ad. A Business Week article reports that it cost $4,500 to make (fairly typical amount for a minute and a half-long video) and was viewed 2 million times its first four days on YouTube. Now, less than a month old, it has 4 million hits and close to 35,000 likes. Fewer than 210 people dislike it, perhaps because of the rough language. I suspect the big brands pay millions more for ad production and placement and would love to have that many views and purchases. According to Business Week, the club signed up 5,000 people the first day.
What’s also noteworthy is that co-founder and CEO Mike Dubin, who has a digital marketing background, understands comic timing and uses it to make this ad work. Dubin, the cute guy in the ad, studied comedy and improv in New York while working as an NBC page. It’s fun when brands use humor to connect with potential customers. Let’s face it, this spot wouldn’t be viral without the funny.
Bottom line, this brand does what many products promise to do, which is make life easier. Just like Netflix sends me DVDs, Dollar Shave sends me fresh blades – for just a few dollars a month. Not that shopping is a hardship, but who needs to fret about shaving?
Jackie Costa, the director of content marketing at Clear Verve, works with clients to create and distribute smarter, better marketing communications materials. Listen for her on Twitter as @JackieMCosta.