Shave Time. Shave Money. Go Viral.

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

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7 thoughts on “Shave Time. Shave Money. Go Viral.

  1. Having your CEO star in a commercial like that is definitely a risk, but wow did it pay off for them. This company really took advantage of humor and honesty. By calling out the other brands, and bringing the customer back to basics the brand creates what appears to be an open relationship with their clientele. Filming the commercial in what appears to be the company’s office and warehouse space also helps to build a relationship of trust with the customer while the customer merely thinks they are being entertained. Excellent combination of techniques.

  2. It’s interesting to note that though the Old Spice Guy character became a huge sensation, sales of Old Spice did not actually increase. Because IMC measures behavior, in this case buying habits, this could be considered an unsuccessful campaign.

    On one hand, these ads show a self-awareness, which viewers may interpret as advertisers speaking to them on their level rather than trying to woo customers with a flashy sales pitch. This makes the brand appear more down-to-earth, funny, and genuine. It is as though this brand becomes the viewer’s friend.

    However, this sort of self-awareness might actually distance people from the brand. If viewers begin to view commercial characters as “friends” or stand-alone entertainment, they may forget that the brand was trying to influence their behavior in the first place. While they share the video with the rest of the internet, they make no move to buy the product because the video itself becomes the product–and it’s free.

    • I thought this video was entertaining and probably reached the intended audience of I would guess young adult males. It may have been a risk to have the CEO stating crude comments about their razors but again I believe the message would actually be recieved well by young males.

  3. What I really like about this commercial is how witty and clever they tool their competition which is something that does appeal to the market they are targeting: rugged men. The underlying message is that all those fancy features of mainstream razors are for high maintenance, prissy guys. And it’s pretty obvious they are targeting the men out there that are no non-sense manly men who have no time for silly gadgets because they are too busy doing other cool manly things.

  4. This commercial was hilarious. Well done, and it made me think of the Old Spice guy, of course. However, it was so humorous that I wasn’t aware it was even a real ad for a real company. I would have sworn it was just a silly joke some guys came up with, well done or not. That is the main flaw I see here. I wouldn’t investigate further than just watching it on YouTube and having a good laugh because it’s, really, ‘too’ funny. We are already so desensitized to the cussing that it really won’t have much of a negative effect, even on older viewers. It’s a lot like an SNL sketch; sacrifice the cleanliness for the funny stuff.

  5. I believe this company was so successful with their viral advertising because they are creating something very different from other advertisements. In today’s society the public thrives off of new, different, and risky advertisements. This company’s ability to back up their cocky and ridiculous advertisements with extremely low monthly costs proves that they are trying to draw attention to themselves while showing that they can overcome other brands with very competitive prices.
    This method of advertising can be dangerous if their product does not match the quality that it says they have. By having these cocky advertisements, this brand has to ensure that they can fulfill customers’ needs while leaving them satisfied. Also by having this kind of advertisement, the brand can easily be overlooked because all the attention from the audience can go towards the video and not the product.

  6. Using humor in advertising is a great way to get attention. I think that people are more likely to watch and be able to relate to a funny commercial versus a more serious commercial. It is also more likely to get people talking about the brand to others. Word of mouth is a very inexpensive and successful way of promoting your brand. With all of the new technologies available to corporations it is great to see the new and creative ways that they are promoting brands.

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