Honey Copy

Marketing Ideas.

Stranger than fiction marketing ideas that have made brands millions ––

How a grooming startup’s 90-second YouTube video captured them 12,000 customers overnight.


Once upon a time, men who grew whiskers faster than a wooly mammoth in the dead of winter, found themselves coughing up an absurd amount of money to keep their face manes under control.

With massive brands like Schick and Gillette dominating the shaving industry, there was no such thing as a cheap shave…

Let alone a cheap, quality shave.

That is until a magical little startup by the clever name of Dollar Shave Club stepped into the picture and began marketing the impossible –– a damn good shave at just $1 per month.

(That wasn’t their exact verbiage, but you get the idea).

With industry titans charging 20x, Dollar Shave Club had a very compelling offer.

However, there was only one problem… getting the word out.

Their marketing budget was but a tiny, microscopic fraction of their larger, richer competitors.

In order to bark with the big dogs, they were forced to get creative…

David vs. Goliath.

We’ve seen it time and time again with startups.

With Airbnb

With Away

Their small marketing budgets force them to get creative and courageous versus playing it safe with fancy (and pricey) tools and metrics and loads of paid advertising.

As a result… they craft marketing brilliance.

Dollar Shave Club was no exception.

While the shaving startup’s founder, Michael Dubin, didn’t have loads of dough to blow –– though they had just locked in $1 million in a small round of funding –– he had something money couldn’t buy.

Dubin knew how to tell a good story.

Having spent eight years in New York City studying sketch and improv, Dubin was confident he could shoot a video that not only told the story of the brand but also made people snicker…

Our blades are fucking great.

Before we continue forward, you really need to give it a watch.

(No it wasn’t shot in India, I just think this makes for an aesthetically pleasing thumbnail).

As you’ve probably gathered, it’s pretty damn funny. But, it doesn’t really matter that you nor I think so. What matters is that 24,000,000 people have watched the damn thing.

Our blades are fucking awesome went viral and generated Dollar Shave Club 12,000 customers in a single day (and who knows how many more over the seven years since it’s creation).

But, more than this, it acted as a tremendous launch pad for a startup that would eventually go on to do $65 million in annual revenue and attract more than $147.8 million in venture capital.

A marketing idea to consider during tomorrow morning’s shave.

Dollar Shave Club’s 90-second video cost them $4,500 and took an afternoon to shoot. While for a startup, this is certainly not chump change, it sure as hell beats paying some fancy agency a fat $25,000 monthly retainer.

So, firstly, it might be worth shooting a bat shit crazy video for your startup.

But, more than this, it’s important to remember that customers admire witty brands, they appreciate tasteful humor and ultimately feel comfortable when a brand doesn’t take itself too seriously.

It’s not unlike the good-looking girl who isn’t afraid to laugh at herself.

It’s charming, refreshing and disarming… it gives you permission to put your guard down and be human.

By Cole Schafer.

Stranger than fiction by Honey Copy is a curation of stories about bat shit crazy marketing ideas that have made brands some serious cheddar. If this story made your mouth water, why not let me tell you when I write the next one?

Cole Schafer