You know the one I’m talking about…

The one with the hypnotically charismatic handsome guy with a terrible throw.

The one with the blunt machete, bear suit and single best use of a swear word in any advert ever.

The one you’ve seen highlighted at every single marketing conference you’ve attended since 2012.

No? Really? Fine this one then...

Dollar Shave Club's video amassed nearly 5m views within three months of its upload in March 2012, it now stands at an extraordinary 16m.

In its first 48 hours, around 12,000 people signed up for the service, by the summer 2013 that number rose to 330,000.

So the video clearly worked fantastically and positioned the company as one of the most entertaining benchmarks for comparing other brands’ content marketing efforts. 

Obviously the product itself is a solid idea – it’s simple to the point where you can’t believe it hasn’t been done before – plus the subscription based service is a great way to encourage a higher customer lifetime value (CLV).

All that being said, it’s hard to argue with the fact that the video creates most of our desirability for the product. 

You’re not just buying razors in a more convenient way, you’re buying into a cool, off-kilter world where you can be equal levels of smug and self-effacing. You’re helping Alejandro find work. You’re crap at tennis too.  

It helps that CEO Michael Dubin not only had experience in video marketing and in creating branded content for Nike, Nintendo and Gatorade, but he also performed and studied improvisational comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York, where Amy Poehler and Adam McKay also got their break.

It’s this irreverence that seeps through the entire company, its messaging and every piece of content it has created ever since.

Further videos

Dollar Shave Club hasn’t just stuck to the one service, in fact Michael Dubdin wants you to “own the entire bathroom” with its products.

In June 2013 launched its ‘One Wipe Charlies’ range male sanitary wipes.

With 2.5m views in a year, this hasn’t quite reached the dizzying heights of ‘Our Blades are F***ing Great’, but it has solidified its reputation as a brand with longer term goals beyond what could have been considered a single trick. 

Exactly one year after that announcement, in June this year, Dollar Shave Club capitalised on the most obvious holiday season for its clientele: Father’s Day.

This series of videos, featuring simple animation and cleverly employing gags based on digital incompetence, is the perfect way to highlight its gift card options.

After all, as children grown up and living far away from home, ordering an easy-to-send gift card from the comfort of your office lunch break is right up our lazy street.

Social

The bulk of Dollar Shave Club’s content doesn’t just sit on YouTube, in fact Dollar Shave Club uses its many social networks to upload exclusive content, tailored to that specific channel.

If you want the full Dollar Shave Club Experience, you have to follow them all. 

One of the few brands to offer different content on its Facebook page than it does elsewhere.

Its tone of voice here is as hilarious and off-the-wall as you’ve come to expect, and the content is rewarded by a high number of shares.

Also unlike other brands, Dollar Shave Club’s social team do a great job of replying to followers quickly and helpfully if they have any concerns.

On Twitter, Dollar Shave Club is just as conscientious at helping its followers and customers. In fact it runs two Twitter accounts, one for the brand and one called @Ask_DSC specifically for customer care. 

However, Dollar Shave Club has also remembered the golden rule of social customer care. Customers will find you wherever you are, it doesn’t matter which one you’d prefer them to communicate with you on.

Dollar Shave Club is as helpful and responsive on its standard account as it is on its customer care channel.

Each @reply carries a personalised, characterful response which is exactly the way to keep followers loyal and committed to your brand.

Dollar Shave Club has recently adopted Vine, proving that it knows the future of social sharing is on mobile first video channels. Its Vines are funny, imaginative and offer helpful reminders on how we should treat our faces.

It’s also an inveterate Instagram user. This is where followers can see all of its great product shots and the various messages written on top.

There are also loads behind-the-scenes shots of the team, which helps us to relate to the brand in a more personal, relatable way.

Charity

This shot was taken for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and it’s this commitment to certain charities that really sets the brand apart from others.

When I say certain charities, I mean the charities that don’t get a lot of publicity because they are to do with areas we don’t like to talk about in public... colorectal, prostate, bowel.

Dollar Shave Club proudly flies the flag for these underfunded and overlooked charities. In March this year after learning that there is a history of colon cancer in his family, Mike Dubdin live streamed, yes live streamed, his colonoscopy on YouTube in partnership with the Colon Cancer Alliance. 

This led to $10,000 being donated to Colon Cancer Alliance, thanks to the streaming, retweets and purchases of One Wipe Charlies.

23m people also heard the message about the importance of getting screened early being as colon cancer is then 90% beatable. No to mention one CEO given the all clear.

Dollar Shave Club doesn’t have the most frequent schedule for content, but it’s regular one-off events like these that make the brand’s content worth watching out for.

To find out more about content marketing, attend our Festival of Marketing event in November, a two day celebration of the modern marketing industry, featuring speakers from brands including LEGO, Tesco, Barclays, FT.com and more.

For more on content marketing…

Check out these very informative articles from the Econsultancy blog:

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 4 September, 2014 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Sindhya Valloppillil Kalghatgi

You can applaud Dollar Shave Club for their 1st video, but their 2nd video flopped. So they pulled it from YouTube. Their 3rd video for Charlie One Wipes was also bad and was criticized for being racist and for having extreme potty humor.

Regarding the products, Dollar Shave Club isn't doing anything unique or even creating their products for that matter. The razor that they sell is a Dorco razor. You can buy it cheaper directly from Dorco or on Amazon. Same goes for butt wipes and the shave cream.

The only thing that the DSC nailed is their first video. As a brand, DSC sucks. Nothing in their product portfolio is even $1. The brand name doesn't even make sense. Who is Dr. Carver? Why is their shave cream called Dr. Carver's Easy Shave Butter? The name is so stupid on so many levels. Finally, the Charlie One Wipes are a menace to society - they clog pipes and damage sewage systems. Refer to this article: http://gawker.com/your-fucking-butt-wipes-are-clogging-sewer-systems-1275892538

Don't believe all the hype. If you consider how much Dollar Shave spends on ads and customer acquisition, their sales are not impressive. Also, keep in mind that they have $22.8M in VC funding. Considering that too, their growth is not impressive at all.

Dollar Shave Club is not a great brand nor does it have great products. It only has a great video. Given the teams obvious lack of domain expertise when it comes to product development and global branding, it will never be able to go head to head with Gillette or Schick.

about 3 years ago

Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff, Editor at Methods Unsound / Search Engine Watch

@Sindhya - you make some fierce points here, and I'll try to address them as much as I am able. I find no evidence that the 2nd video was pulled from YouTube, nor could I find any evidence of racism or accusations thereof. I will happily retract that statement and apologise if I'm wrong though.

As for the product itself and any problems with it... I'm more interested in how its marketed, rather than speculating its quality or service. I don't drink Cola, or drive a Ford, but will happily write articles praising those company's content marketing efforts whether I like the product or not. I am after all a man with a beard, who will never, ever shave it because I look weird without it.

Articles like this are to highlight examples for other marketers, either for inspiration or for research. To address your final point, I've never actually heard of Schick.

about 3 years ago

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Tom

Sindhya Valloppillil seems to find every single Dollar Shave Club article and post hate about them saying they suck for various reasons.

She seems to have had a flop when trying to raise funding for her razor brand, maybe thats why?

about 3 years ago

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Matt Desmier

I disagree entirely with @sindhya's comments about DSC not being a great brand - she obviously doesn't quite comprehend how branding works (and so I feel sorry for her students).
Successful branding communicates a story to it's audience. It engages them, enables them to relate to the product, service or company. It generates a common ground for consumer and business to interact.
For their category, they've innovated by understanding current society and engaging me in a way none of their competitors ever have.
Do I care about the quality of the blade - Not one iota.
Does it shave my face - yes.
Do I throw it away - yes.
Is the price a factor - no.
Have I bought into what they're about - yes.
I am now a brand ambassador. They don't pay me - indeed as a customer of theirs, I pay them. I share their videos, tweet about them and even take to news articles to write a response to a comment such as yours.
From a branding perspective, they've succeeded far beyond any of their peers...

about 3 years ago

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Mark

Sindhya's comments are completely off base. DSC's razors give an awesome shave at an awesome price, backed by a brilliant marketing campaign. I've already got three friends signed up as fans and received the referral discounts. Who cares if other companies make the razors? That's commonplace in manufacturing. Marketing is what sells and that's why we're talking about them. Given their pricing and quality I will never go back to Gillette.

about 3 years ago

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Christopher Chacón, HR at ..

I think this article is about how DSC develop an interesting social media campaign and not about the quality or capacity of their products. With tha in mind, I agree with Christopher Ratcliff, they have develop a strong content strategy focus on create interaction with their costumers.

10 months ago

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