Sometimes in life it’s nice to acknowledge the unappreciated, undiscussed elements of the daily routine. In football, you might begin such a discussion with the oft-overlooked offensive linemen, who endure physical hell on the field with very little individual glory to be gained. In the world of hygiene, you might begin that discussion with butt wipes.
Dollar Shave Club: A Success Story
Michael Dubin, the charismatic funnyman founder of Dollar Shave Club, is hoping to illuminate that connection in a new ad campaign for the company’s latest product: the “One Wipe Charlie” buttwipe, released earlier this year.
The campaign, which will feature four NFL centers, has already generated quite a bit of hype, if only for the audacious nature of the product and the company’s remarkably straightforward, unabashed approach to the discussion of the “buttwipe”—a term that the One Wipe Charlie may very well have invented. The campaign adds a level of legitimacy to what could be considered a risky product release, but is the buttwipe for real?
Dollar Shave Club’s relatively minor but admittedly significant disruption of the shaving industry began with a viral video posted last year advertising a shaving service that delivers monthly disposable blades for extremely low prices. The intention of the business plan was to capitalize on what many consider to be an overpriced and monopolized razor market by using a few viral techniques and some witty jokes.
Dollar Shave Club has been making headlines in business journals ever since, and a unique business plan mixed with Dubin’s comic touch has resulted in success and notoriety for the brand.
Wipe Number Two
“Let’s talk about #2,” begins Dubin in the second video, released in June of this year. The anticipation for Dollar Shave Club’s video sequel had been building for some time, and the release of this new product was highly anticipated.
The video itself is definitely less entertaining than the original, and Dubin’s humor seems a little played out. But regardless of the quality of the jokes, the quality of the buttwipe itself remains to be determined. There are a few reviews out there, but only time will tell if the One Wipe Charlie becomes a game changer in the hygiene industry, or whether it withers and dies along with most of the quirky anti-jokes featured in its promotional video.
This is a risky product to try and sell, given its relative lack of notoriety. There isn’t exactly a clear market for buttwipes, but Dubin hopes to create a niche and be the first one there to reap the rewards of his hygienic entrepreneurship.
No Commitment Issues
It may seem at first that attempting to create a niche market with a single online video advertisement and a dubious product would be a doomed task. But Durbin & Co. seem fully invested in the project, as evidence by this recent commitment to the NFL linemen campaign.
Dollar Shave Club clearly has its sights set on bigger and greater bathroom-related campaigns, and it’s not surprising that their creative marketing style has motivated them to expand beyond razors. “The razor was a great beachhead,” Dubin told Businessweeek in June. “There are some other obvious personal care and grooming products we can hit pretty quickly, and I’d love to hit as many as we can.”
Dollar Shave Club’s dedication and creativity is evident, and it will be fun to watch this young company grow and experiment with new products and new videos. Although we can’t be sure just how many Americans will be swapping their toilet paper out for wet wipes in 2014, we do know that in business risks can product great rewards—and that’s something we should never fail to appreciate.
Related post: Dollar Shave Club: How F*cking Great Is It?