3 brand campaigns you’ll wish you came up with

1. Dollar Shave Club (UK)

If you haven’t heard of Dollar Shave Club (DSC), you’re missing out big time. Not just on a reasonably-priced weekly subscription service of razors, but also the sheer joy of the brand’s marketing.

Take a look at the launch video below, which was published back in 2012 and took about 5 minutes to go viral. Dare you not to laugh.

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Needless to say, this more than paid off. By 2016, the company had achieved huge success, expanded its product range to include grooming products and was acquired by Unilever for $1 billion, cash.

You might be wondering why I’m bringing this up. It’s 2018 after all and this set of campaign reviews is supposed to highlight content from April this year.

Well, don’t worry. The reason is this: in the past couple of months, Dollar Shave Club has made its first play for the UK market, with a marketing strategy that’s well worth taking note of.

As well as setting up a pop-up ‘Dollar Shave Club Hub’ in London, where visitors could enjoy table football, live comedy and a free shave, the brand also launched a country-specific Instagram page and quickly filled it with great content.

By combining useful tips, funny graphics, slick product shots and intro content tailored to the UK market (including our sense of humour), DSC have created a page with tons of interest points.

Considering its hero product is a razor – not necessarily the easiest item to generate lots of content about – the brand has got off to a really great start on the other side of the pond.

One of the best things about DSC’s UK social is a series of short videos around the theme: ‘This task is dull. Your blade shouldn’t be’.

Here are a few of the best:

It’s great to see a brand recognising the importance of having a strong and hyper-relevant localised social strategy, and smashing it on the content front.

Although the Instagram account is currently just shy of 4,000 followers – we wouldn’t be at all surprised if DSC catches on in the UK just like it did the US.


2. Blind Barber

Believe it or not, this isn’t actually a male-grooming themed campaign review. I’ll mix things up for the last one, promise. But in the meantime, let’s talk about Blind Barber and its new collaboration with Major League Baseball star Bryce Harper.

For anyone who doesn’t know, Bryce plays for the Washington Nationals and is a right fielder.

I have no idea what this means.

But by all accounts, Bryce is widely considered to have the best hair in baseball.

Over the years, he claims that many grooming brands have tried to sign him up, with no success.

But now everything’s changed.

Blind Barber has officially partnered with Bryce for an exclusive line called ‘Bryce Harper Selects’. The sports star said what tipped the scales and convinced him to collaborate with this particular brand was a shared love of barbershop culture.

This is somewhat interesting. But what’s much more so is the way the new line was announced to the public.

On April 11th, Bryce’s brother Bryan posted a sneaky video on Twitter, seemingly filmed secretly and showing his famous sibling styling his hair with not one, but two, hairdryers. A bit extra.

In the last few seconds, Bryan turns around, realises he’s on camera, and angrily shouts ‘Dude!?’ at his brother.

It didn’t take long for this to get noticed, despite the fact that Bryan ‘only’ has 15.7k followers, and it had racked up several hundred thousand views in no time.

I’ve kind of ruined the twist for you by telling you about the collaboration with Blind Barbers already – but only a day after the video was published, the Bryce Harper Selects collection was announced and the footage revealed to be a stunt designed to get people talking and draw loads of attention to Bryan’s barnet.

Through user-generated content (UGC) and by calling in someone associated with the celebrity, rather than the guy himself, Blind Barber was able to make the hype video look totally real.

Undoubtedly this would have drawn FAR more attention to the launch than a regular announcement would have.

But that’s not say it was a risk-free decision.

People don’t always respond well to being tricked, unless maybe it’s April Fools’ Day. There was plenty of potential for this to backfire, although luckily it doesn’t seem like that’s been the case.


3. Fever-Tree

From grooming to gin and tonic now (told you I’d mix things up!).

Fever-Tree is a producer of premium drink mixers, like tonic water and ginger beer. The company is a long-time supporter of the Malaria No More charity, a non-profit organisation that aims to end death caused by malaria.

To get its customers involved in fund-raising for the cause ahead of World Malaria Day 2018 (April 25th), Fever-Tree is running a campaign that asks people to ‘raise a G&T to fight malaria’.

At a time of year when people flock to pub/restaurant gardens to soak up the sun with an ice-cold beverage, Fever-Tree will donate £5 to Malaria No More for every photo showing a glass raised and tagged @FeverTreeMixers and #MalariaMustDie.

It’s always nice to see brands supporting good causes, especially nowadays when consumers care more about the values and morals of the brands they buy from.

But what can sometimes happen when doing this is that the link between the brand and the cause gets lost or diluted.

There ideally needs to be a strong and clear context so people can understand why the information is being communicated from that particular source.

When this is done well, it can be really powerful. Consumers associate the brand with the cause, meaning it can also benefit from their loyalty and enthusiasm.

This Fever-Tree campaign is a strong example of how to get it right.

The communications highlight the connection between the brand and malaria by explaining that quinine – an ingredient in tonic water – has been an important anti-malarial ingredient for centuries.

Traditionally, British soldiers were instructed to take quinine and used gin to make it more palatable. And so the G&T was born.

As well as the social media content and offline ads, there’s a landing page dedicated to the campaign, which includes a nicely designed bottle-shaped fundraising tracker.

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