You may have seen the latest viral ad campaign that has surged through the Internet and created quite the buzz. It’s a video from DollarShaveClub.com, a recent startup company that ships high quality razors for as little as $1 a month. The video has reached close to 700,000 views on YouTube in just two days.
The video features Michael Dublin, founder and CEO of Dollar Shave Club, leading the viewer through the company’s warehouse. Michael claims that their blades aren’t just good, they’re “f***ing great”. Michael continues by bashing the competition and “fancy razors” with high-tech gear, saying how handsome your grandfather was with just one razor. The level of absurdity in the video has been compared to the success of the Old Spice campaign, which features deadpan humor and ridiculous situations.
The marketing campaign may have been more than Dollar Shave Club bargained for. The reaction was so strong that the company’s website crashed soon after the video launched due to the amount of traffic they were receiving. With the website shut down, Dollar Shave Club potentially lost revenue from the overwhelming demand. In the world of modern business, success can literally happen over night, as displayed by Dollar Shave Club’s huge viral impact. With startup companies trying to get their name out there in the fastest and cheapest way possible, creating a hit video may be the way to go, as long as your prepared for the traffic flow afterwards.
The popularity of the campaign raises some questions regarding the changes in modern advertising. Having your CEO star in a video where you pronounce that your blades are “f***ing great” is risky, but it seems that the risk, blatant honesty, and the ability for a company to poke fun at itself is what drives a business to viral success. In comparison to the Old Spice campaign, Isaiah Mustafa’s character became so popular that Old Spice went beyond TV adverts and began answering viewer questions on YouTube. While this is still just a character that sells deodorant, it became much more than that to viewers because it didn’t feel like a commercial. If commercials have a self-awareness of what they are, the audience recognizes that awareness and is more lenient to simply enjoy an advertisement as entertainment. Perhaps this is what Dollar Shave Club was going for, simply telling people what they are in the most honest, exciting, and fun way that they knew how.
By: Hunter Wilson, Josh Vester, Ashley Oliver, Molly Jacques