Dollar Shave Club Shows How to Make a Problem Entertaining
When a brand exists because it solves a problem, the brand’s advertising has a choice to make. It can emphasize either the discomfort of the problem or the pleasure of the solution. If the problem is readily apparent and screams for a solution, the advertising can focus on that solution (Raid kills bugs dead.) On the other hand, if the problem doesn’t automatically grab attention and demand a solution, the advertising has to bring that problem to mind.
Making people confront a problem is risky in advertising because viewers can easily avoid thinking about the problem by ignoring the advertising. Advertising that seeks contributions to worthy causes often confronts viewers with a depressing problem that the viewers’ contributions would help solve. Unfortunately, the advertising does little to hold attention, so viewers avoid worrying about the problem by tuning out the ad.
But Dollar Shave Club’s advertising is involving, entertaining, funny, and unexpected and keeps viewers’ attention even as it emphasizes a problem. The advertising is enjoyable to watch, it gets shared, it associates the solution, Dollar Shave Club, with the problem, the nasty, expensive razor that men face almost daily.
What do people know about Dollar Shave Club? Nothing. People will form their impression of the company from the advertising. Young men will see Dollar Shave Club as clever, irreverent, iconoclastic and fun, just like they think of themselves.
The Dollar Shave Club solution memorably paired with the problem of a nasty, expensive razor works to get many to log on and sign up.