Razor subscription company Dollar Shave Club have released two new TV commercials. Both feature the hallmarks that the company has become noted for, humour and an appearance from founder and CEO Michael Dubin. And both highlight the importance of the creative journey embarked upon to bring them to life.
Get Ready is a long-form video that celebrates diversity among men by showing them in various grooming scenarios. Some of the scenarios are a little risqué, Dubin’s character padding his underwear with toilet paper for example and this provides much of the humour.
We also see several other instances of men getting ready. One is attending to some of the more delicate areas of his body and another, a drag queen, is shaving his legs whilst giving grooming advice to a rather nerdy looking guy – there’s an endearing element of circus about the ad.
The humour is amplified as we hear the dulcet tones of Steve Lawrence singing “I’ve Gotta be Me” and this, along with strong performances from the actors, adds to the sense that the characters are completely unapologetic for their antics – no matter how weird they are.
The final shot shows the men, united and triumphantly walking together towards the camera – “Welcome to the club” reads the end title.
In contrast to Get Ready, Free Gift is 40 seconds long and uses slapstick to provide both the humour and to reinforce the ad’s message “Tired of gettin beat up by high razor prices?”
Here we see the main character, in a store, paying more than he expected for his razors and then being given a punch in the balls for his troubles. This is his free gift. Comic timing and the deadpan delivery of the lines are instrumental, as is the quick-fire sell at the end of the ad – courtesy of Dubin.
The in-house creative team at Dollar Shave Club are responsible for both of these TV commercials. The company remain reluctant to outsource work to creative agencies despite being bought for $1 billion by Unilever in 2016. When asked about working in-house Dubin explained:
“It helps us infuse our brand tone and voice into all touch points the consumer sees and even some internal facing things that the consumer doesn’t see.”
This in-house method of working, whilst great for Dollar Shave Club and a few others like them, is quite uncommon. The majority of companies prefer to outsource creative and production work, leaving them free to focus on their core business activities and remain in an arena where they are comfortable.
Our Blades Are F***ing Great
The brand tone and voice in the company’s video commercials has been nothing if not consistent since its first offering in 2012. Our Blades Are F***ing Great, features Dubin throughout as he describes the advantages of his products and outlines the reasons for not overpaying for razors, “stop paying for shave-tech you don’t need”. The pace of this commercial is noteworthy, but it is perhaps Dubin’s performance and the more bizarre aspects of the piece that made it such a creative and commercial hit. The video has 25.5 million views on YouTube alone and on the day it was released Dollar Shave Club signed up 12,000 new subscribers.
Dubin insists that Dollar Shave Club is simply offering customers “the best version of themselves”, but bring into play an intrinsic understanding of what makes men tick and a little creative genius, then you really have a cutting-edge prospect.