How Adopting The Funny Leads To A Great Brand

The Company
26 April 2019

No two people are created the same, and for this writer, that is especially true when it comes to shaving. Having inherited genes that made it absolutely impossible to grow a respectable beard or moustache, shaving – and the frustrations associated with it – have never been an issue.

Still, this writer entertained the idea of grooming his non-existent facial hair and set off in search of top brands providing quality products. The search led to the discovery of Dollar Shave Club (DSC), a direct-to-consumer subscription service for razors and other assorted grooming products.

The price was reasonable for the convenience they provide, the products look great, and the reviews did a great job at providing a final push to subscribe. Alas, there was still no facial hair that needed to be groomed to warrant a purchase.

Yet, this writer found himself revisiting DSC’s website over the course of months. Because if there’s one thing that DSC knows how to do, and do well, is build a brand that people love and can connect with emotionally – a great feat that no doubt contributed to its acquisition by Unilever for a whopping USD 1 billion.

It all began with its startup launch video titled “Our Blades Are F**king Great” featuring its founder Michael Dubin that takes viewers on a tour through their warehouse while touting the benefits of DSC.

Sounds like another typical introduction video, but what made this video marketing gold is the absurdity of having a toddler shaving a man’s head, a machete, polio jokes, and a bear suit. Definitely not a typical introduction video.

More importantly, the success of this launch video highlights two important points that all brands should consider incorporating – to some degree – in their content marketing strategy… video content and humour.

Video content

Apart from being a great way to increase brand awareness (DSC’s launch video has amassed more than 26 million views) and drive website or social media traffic, videos have proven to be an effective way of getting viewers to engage with your brand and keeping your brand top-of-mind.

Brightcove’s 2018 Video Marketing Survey found that 53% of consumers engage with a brand after viewing one of their videos on social media. When it comes to millennials, this number increases to 66%.

Then, according to Forbes, videos are more captivating than text with 95% of viewers more likely to remember a call to action after a watching a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text format.

For DSC, their launch video brought in more than 12,000 customers within the first two days of it being published. If a properly executed video can bring in those numbers for a brand in 2012, you can bet that it’ll do wonders in 2019 and beyond when 80% of global internet consumption will be video content (Cisco).


Not every brand can do humour, and not every brand should. But according to Dr. James Barry, a professor at Nova Southern University and co-author of the research paper “A typological examination of effective humour for content marketing”, infusing humour into content works very well not just in business-to-consumer (B2C) but business-to-business (B2B) spaces. That’s because CEOs and other top-level executives appreciate being entertained just like everyone else.

Indeed, humour is not only attention-grabbing, but makes your brand more relatable, trustworthy, and human. There is even research that suggests that humour is linked to higher recall, making it easier for your target audience to remember the message and call to action embedded in your content.

However, before you take a page out of DSC’s book and venture an attempt at humour, it’s important to know that DSC not only aims to entertain but to also educate, thereby creating content that adds value to its readers.

Even with seemingly absurd articles sporting titles like “What Do My Testicles Do All Day?” and “Why Do I Always Wake Up When My Dreams Start Getting Sexy?”, DSC layers humour with facts, creating an engaging and educational read on topics that could otherwise be too “dry” to keep readers engaged.

While it may seem like a risky bet at the time, DSC’s bold move to inject humour into its launch video – and its subsequent use of humour in all its content – has clearly made it stand out in a competitive market. Since its launch in 2012, the business has seen its subscriber base grow to 3.2 million and have sold millions of razors and other grooming products.

So, though this writer has to be content with his facial hair envy, he walks away convinced that humour, when done right, lends to building a successful brand, and that’s almost as good as having a glorious beard.

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