Dollar Shave Club – Video Marketing Done Right


Blast from the Past: Video Campaigns that really worked

Right now, this viral video boasts nearly 17 million views (October 2014), 2 million of which were collected in its first 4 days and more importantly: it drew in customers – over 5,000 subscribers on the 1st day alone. Of course, there is also a man in a bear suit, clearly a winning formula. Dollar Shave offers quality razors in exchange for a low monthly cost and you get the razors “right to your front door”.

Let’s begin with the business:

Hatched by Michael Dubin and partner Mark Levine through a shared frustration with expensive blades, Dollar Shave is a product of Dubin’s background in digital marketing and Levine’s knowledge of overseas distributors. 
It’s the 5th company born out of “Science Inc” and is subscription-based. Consumers and producers share a kindred love for it. For the audience, subscribing saves time and money, and it is one less thing to worry about for the shopping list. For the corporation, it ensures a steady, flowing income. Dubin himself says that Dollar Shave Club was inspired by all sorts of subscription-based businesses, especially ShoeDazzle. However, the impact of Dollar Shave is due to its video marketing.

A Video Marketing Case Study

Created by “Paulilu” and staring Dollar Shave actual CEO Michael Dubin, it’s a perfect example of getting comedy right. This LA-based comedy duo have experience in slick, fun videos, but despite boasting a range of celebrity collaborators such as Jessica Alba and Vanessa Williams, Dollar Shave is by far their most successful video in terms of views. It’s an interesting point that great videos don’t necessarily mean big budgets! After all, the Dollar Shave ad only cost $4500 to produce. 
Dubin shines in his starring role. ‘Are the blades any good? No. Our blades are f***ing great,’ he swaggers. With his background in acting and comedy (he studied sketch comedy and improvisation at the Upright Citizens Brigade for ten years) Dubin is charming, smooth and edgy. He claims it’s “the first time I’ve integrated my comedic training into a brand that I’ve built”. Although funny, Dubin also presents himself as ‘one of us’ – a guy who is angry at costs, who has taken matters into his own hands – whose office is very messy – and who is ultimately, pitching on an ‘American Dream’ theme – reflected most clearly at the end, when the American Flag is rolled down. It’s fast and sharply cut with the background always changing, meaning viewers aren’t distracted or bored. Our main focus also remains for the most part on one main, relatable narrator, which is created not only through a good actor, but also through the simplicity and amateurish feel of the video.

Can this type of marketing be replicated?

It’s difficult to try and bottle what this refreshing, creative video possesses, deepening the mystery of viral success. This article suggests some very interesting concepts. We also wrote out a transcript of the video. It’s interesting to see everything broken down and reflects the random nature of the viral: take a look here. 
It’s easy to claim that the combination of a quality idea and product along with clever advertising makes success undeniable, yet is has to be asked: would people be clamouring for these shavers if the video wasn’t so hilarious? Make your own decision!

PS: if you are into finance and fintech, check out our own YouTube channel

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