6 Essential Elements Dollar Shave Club used in Their Promotional Video to Attract 25K Customers in One Week

DollarShaveClub.com youtube video
August 20, 2014
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Have you seen the wildly successful Dollar Shave Club (DSC) promotional video? It gathered 25,000 paying subscribers in one week, with 12,000 of them signing up in just 48 hours.
Today that video has been viewed 15 million times and the company has 200,000 paying subscribers.
All this growth has come off the back of this amazing promotional video. Check it out:

As marketers, we all love a good promotional video, but this video by DSC just took off and spread virally around the internet! It was the talk of marketing blogs, it was the talk of mainstream media and it was the talk of social media.
But what was it about this video that made it so successful? How did Mike Dubin of DSC launch his business with one video and turn it into a multi-million dollar enterprise?
DSC did a number of things right, but here are the six essential elements that I believe made that video such a success.

1. DSC knew their audience and their pain points

Just like any marketing message, you need to understand who you are targeting and what challenge or pain point you solve. In this case, DSC nailed it right on the head. For so many years, men had been buying shavers from the store and often paying a premium for ‘shaving tech’ they didn’t need.
DSC offered two value propositions: convenience and price. No longer does a man need to remember to by a shaver at the store. He can instead sit back, relax and get them delivered directly to his door.
Furthermore, as the video asks, do you really need a flashlight and vibrator? Probably not. It’s more or less a marketing ploy to get you to buy one razor model over the next. DSC cut out these fancy features that didn’t add value and offered a cheaper price.
What we can learn from DSC:

  1. Understand your audience before you make a video
  2. Use your promotional video to appeal to your audience’s pain points and provide a solution
  3. Show the benefits by comparing your product to existing offerings and show how it can help solve their pain points

2. DSC used humour to keep us all engaged

Our attention spans are now only eight seconds– down from 12 seconds in 2000. Humour is an essential element that can be used in video to keep us engaged.
Think about it: the best commercials on TV are the funny ones! They make us chuckle and we remember them because we tie the product back to the humour.
Remember this one from Old Spice:

How good was it?! We’re all still talking about it four years on.
DSC used humour throughout the full two minutes of the video, and even though they were dropping a hard sell, the consistent humour kept us gazing at the screen!  Keep in mind that the trick with humour is to not overdo it. Humour should complement your message, not be your message.
What we can learn from DSC:

  1. Humour is a great way to keep your audience’s attention – use it strategically throughout the video. DSC used stand-up comedy to grab factors from real life that people accepted as “normal” and singled them out to show they needed to be a better way.
  2. Talking about features doesn’t have to be boring. For example, in the video Mike asks whether the blades are any good and responds with a, “No.” This got you thinking, but then he comes back and says, “our blades are f…ing great!” This surprised you and certainly got your attention.

3. Clear and catchy tagline

All promotional videos should have a clear message that the viewer can walk away with. A catchy tagline is the perfect way to convey a memorable message.
Your tagline should be consistent with your branding and goal of the video. DSC’s tagline – “Shave time, shave money” – was perfect. They incorporated the two biggest benefits of the product into a catchy and funny tagline.
People can walk away from watching the video and quote the tagline when they share the message on social media and in real life. In four words, it perfectly sums up the marketing message.
What you can learn from DSC:

  1. Catchy taglines encourage sharing – DSC created a catchy message that their audience wanted to share with others.
  2. Incorporate benefits into your tagline – this ensures that your core message is being heard whenever the tagline is used.

4. DSC told a story

As humans, we remember and enjoy consuming ideas and concepts that are communicated as a story.
DSC takes us through an amazing story of why they created the product, how it can help and what exactly it does. Through a great story, we can watch the video once and know exactly what they do and why they’re different.
They also use storytelling fundamentals like drawing on celebrities and people we know to make it easier for us to relate. For example, DSC mentioned Roger Federer as reason why the prices of Gillette razors were so expensive. This is brilliant! It helps us relate and understand the benefit.
You probably thought, “Oh yeah, Federer probably gets paid millions from Gillette – they must have to pass that cost on to us.”
What you can learn from DSC:

  1. Use stories to explain your ideas, concepts, features and benefits – humans want to read and share stories, not features. Use stories to build rapport with your audience.
  2. Use storytelling to visualise your products features. “It’s so gentle a toddler could use it” is a great description that helps the viewer visualise the Aloe Vera strip feature.
  3. Let people draw their own conclusions. You don’t always need to be explicit in the story, simply implying facts and letting your audience think, can often work very well.

5. Focus on the benefits

Too many times marketers create videos that focus on features. You need to focus on the benefits!
Imagine if DSC focused on selling the features in this video. It would sound like, “Our razors have an Aloe Vera strip that helps reduce irritation. We offer shipping.”
That just wouldn’t convince anyone to buy. Why? Because every other product has similar features.
DSC did a great job of selling the benefits: Convenience and price.
Instantly, when you watch the video you know whether this product can help you or not. DSC showed us how the benefit of buying through them was different to buying razors the traditional way.
What you can learn from DSC:

  1. Don’t sell features, sell benefits – And don’t tell the viewer about the benefits; show them the benefits and how they can help.
  2. Focus on benefits that solve problems – make sure the benefits shown in the video focus the biggest pain points.

6. Know the goal of the video and the next steps

Every video needs a call to action (CTA) and goal – what do you want the viewer to do after they watch the video.
In this video, DSC was crystal clear in wanting viewers to go to their website and sign up. They used a clever landing page which extended on the experience from the video. It offered more information about the product, instructions on how the subscription works and a ‘buy now’ link.
There’s no way DSC would have generated 12,000 sales within 48 hours if they didn’t have a clear CTA on the video and a consistent landing page to direct customers to. Check out the landing page for inspiration:
dollar shave club landing page
What you can learn from DSC:

  1. All marketing needs a clear goal and CTA – what’s the purpose of the video? Is it to create a sale, build brand awareness or educate?
  2. Make sure you have a landing page that is tightly linked to the video – the landing page must have a consistent look and feel and offer extra information that extends on the video. This way, the viewer knows they are in the right place and can take the next action you want them to take- i.e. buy.

Follow this formula and you’ll give yourself the best chance of making your promotional video a success

There are a lot of factors that go into a good promotional video. Some elements you have control over and others you don’t. By ensuring you use the elements we have discussed in this blog post, you can give yourself the best chance of launching a promotional video that connects with your audience, encourages sharing and engagement and generates new customers and revenue for your business.
Your thoughts?
Did you find this blog post useful? Let us know in the comments below.

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