• Boone Caughey

What Makes an Ad Great?

This Dollar Shave Club (DSC) commercial is one of my all-time favorites. It's been off the air for at least five years but I still remember it well. Why is that? I've seen a million ads since then. Why do I remember this one? A few theories:

  1. It is hilarious. Maybe it's not for everyone but I think this ad is stupidly funny and most of DSC's target market would probably agree. That's great content.

  2. It resonates. Yes, I absolutely was tired of getting beat up by high razor prices which were ridiculous, maybe even higher on average than they are today. This ad called out an entire industry and positioned DSC as the solution. That's a great hook.

  3. It was on-brand. By the time this spot aired, DSC was known for this slapstick style and aesthetic, which compounds the return on ad spend. That's great branding.

  4. DSC understood and embraced the Four P's of Marketing. Back then, DSC provided good Products and good Pricing. In addition, their Promotions utilized good Placement as they were one of the early pioneers of internet video advertising, mainly in the form of funny YouTube videos like this one which had organic reach and presumably a very high ROI. That's great marketing.

Ironically, DSC today has evolved into an overpriced line of shaving/grooming products just like the competition it once roasted. I think their ads were just too good.