June 14, 2012 - Video Marketing

Whoever thought that toiletries would have the Internet world buzzing? Santa Monica startup Dollar Shave Club has taken on the $13B razor industry with one powerful motto:  “Our blades are f— great.”

With only $1M in seed funding, the cash conscious company recruited 12,000 in its first two days.

All it took was a brilliant video.

“Even guys who don’t shave might want to take up the habit when the club’s founder Michael Dubin takes them on a now-viral tour of his warehouse,” Huffington Post writer Ron Dicker said. “He disses his competition, points out that is polio-afflicted grandpa didn’t need pricey multiple blades, and declares that he’s creating jobs. Oh yeah, Dubin also describes his service – starting at a buck a month for home-delivery of ‘beeping-great’ twin blades (plus $2 shipping).”

Of course, the video is hilarious, but we’re not here to echo the obvious.  Watch the video, and let Dollar Shave Club speak for itself. Then, look beyond the surface. You might notice the following:

1. The marketing message is authentic

The company’s marketing message is down to earth, stemming from Dubin’s background as an improv actor. It’s sales-driven, but it doesn’t overlook its very human audience—people who are smart, practical, and in need of a healthy smile. They’re sick of the cheesy big-brand marketing stuff and can see right through a bad sales pitch.

While the product caters to men, the branding provides gender-neutral entertainment so that anyone would be happy to share.  The video is smart, but it doesn’t force you to overthink the main point. It’s just fun.

“I’ve always loved the intersection between business and art and this brand I’m building gives me a great opportunity to have a lot of fun and use a comedic voice,” Dubin said in an interview with Business Insider.

2. While funny, the video is also informative

Dollar Shave’s value proposition is tough to beat. Simplicity is refreshing, especially when it saves you time.

“The Dollar Shave Club razors are a pretty good deal. Not necessarily because the blades are any cheaper than you would get if you bought this same kit in bulk, but because of the automation,” Geek.com blogger Russell Holly said. “As a frequent forgetter of grocery lists, knowing that right around the middle of every month a new set of razors will show up without any additional effort on my end is pretty great.”
The company’s product reinvents something very basic while adding new value. That catches on.

3. It tells a compelling story

Beyond making people laugh, Dollar Shave Club gives an inside look into its business – the people they’re employing. The jobs they’re creating. The forklifts they’re operating. Rather than focusing on bells and whistles, the video tells real human stories. It’s interesting. And, it cost less than $5,000.

Underneath the humor and underlying the sales pitch is a narrative that people can enjoy.
“Whether its video, or Facebook content, or other kinds of content, we are going to make a strong commitment to telling strong stories in creative ways and just giving our audience and our customers fun stuff to play with,” Dubin said. “That’s part of the fun of being an Internet brand.”