Monthly Archives: March 2012

Dollar Shave Club, More Disruptive Than You Think

Dollar Shave Club, a start up that provides customers with a monthly subscription service to razors, shook up the shaving world on March 5th, 2012 when it declared via YouTube video that it was selling razors for $1/month.

Gillette was not the only one watching in amazement as comedic co-founder, Michael Dubin parodied his way through the spot–so were advertisers and marketers. For $4,5oo, Dubin and Mark Levine were able to gather millions of views on YouTube. They now have over 5,000 subscribers to this monthly service.

There are three tiers to the Dollar Shave Club subscription services based on razor quality. The first level, “The Humble Twin” is the one Dubin talks about in his video. At $1/month, the subscription does make it less expensive for consumers who are used to Gillette razors. However, their other levels “The 4x” and “The Executive”, which are more comparable in quality, are actually more expensive than Gillette refills. The value to the customer in the latter would be in not having to go to the store to buy razors.

Dubin says that Dollar Shave Club is able to create these shavings for consumers (couldn’t help myself)  because of their lean operations, but I think it also has to do with changing customer behavior. From informal field research, I learned that if the facial hair is thick and shaving takes place every day, most men will change their razor blade every two to three weeks, with the last razor in the pack lasting longer than the rest.

Nonetheless, whatever they are doing is working.  In concordance with another blog post I read earlier this week, “Now [really] is the Golden Era for Advertising“.

 

 

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What is Kony 2012?

Kony 2012 is a film and campaign that was launched last week by the Invisible Children organization to bring awareness to Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony, the head of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Notorious for kidnapping children to be soldiers and sex slaves in their militia, the LRA is a small but powerful force that has been terrorizing Northern Uganda since 1987. Founded in 2005, Invisible Children, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that creates and runs programs to provide access to education and improve the livelihood of those affected by the LRA. Among their objectives is to bring awareness to the atrocities of the LRA and to have Kony captured.

The Kony 2012 film was uploaded to YouTube on March 5th, 2012. Three days later, this film has nearly 40 million views and 42% reach (Social Mention). The director, Jason Russell, openly asks viewers to share the video through social media. By asking for this spotlight, the film has also sparked lots of criticism. Some argue that the organization mismanages funds and others warning that taking Kony down would mean fighting his army—children.

This brilliant social media campaign is well integrated with the organization’s functions. The video enables viewers to join their cause by encouraging interested parties to visit their website for bracelets or Action Kits ($30), filled with posters, bumper stickers, bracelets etc.—think Obama 2008. The campaign culminates to an event call Blanket the Night, when participants will hit the streets to put up posters so that when the rest of the country awakes, Kony 2012 posters will be everywhere.

There is no doubt that this is a worthy cause. However, I urge all viewers to not get swept up in the social media blitz. Do some research, so that whatever the decision may be, it comes from an informed place.