Category Archives: Viral Videos

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“.




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.

3 Marketing Trends for Super Bowl Ads 2012

This year, a lot of companies released their ads early and some even went so far as to have its customers vote for their favorite ad to be shown on the big day. With an average of 3.5 millions of dollars behind these ads, it is understandable that companies want to make sure that their ads will actually please the masses, but it may be one reason why I was underwhelmed by the ads this year. Admittedly, I have no one else to blame other than myself for viewing the ads early.

Another thing that advertisers did this year was to include a Shazam logo in many of their creatives. London-based company, Shazam is a smartphone-based, service-provider that takes sound clips, sends it to a centralized database and identifies the source of the clip for the customer, all of which is done through an app interface. This is yet another way for marketers to track ROI, but how many people care enough about an ad that they will Shazam it?

Both Anheuser Bush InBev and Coca-cola featured creatives that progressed in a storyline as the game went on. Coca-cola took it one step further by having the ads reflect the situation of the game with their Giants and Patriot Polar Bears. Though many would argue it was creative, because viewers were used to seeing action packed commercials, many were bored by the dragged out storylines.

Viral Video: Dermablend “Go Beyond the Cover”

The DermablendPro “Go Beyond the Cover” video was released only a month ago and has already accumulated over 4 million views on Youtube.

Rightly so, this video captures people’s attention by introducing a surprise—the seemingly unassuming man on the screen is actually covered in tattoos. The video begins with Rick Genest, also known as Zombie Boy, walking into the frame and sitting in a director’s chair. Covered from the waist up in Dermablend Tatoo Primer and Leg and Body Cover and Loose Setting Powder, the viewer doesn’t know what to expect as he peels off his t-shirt and begins scrubbing his chest until his hand pulls away to reveal a darkened spot. Schemas broken, we’re glued to the video as he grabs a towel and begins vigorously scrubbing his face.

Heath & Heath tell us, in their book Made to Stick, our brains are designed to be keenly aware of changes: of counterintuitive things. If we want to capture people’s attention, the authors say the best way to do it is by creating a surprise.