Video Ad Campaign Hall of Fame: Our Blades Are F***ing Great

Becoming an instant billionaire? Sounds f***ing great.

Yesterday, Fortune announced that Dollar Shave Club, a startup that ships razors directly to subscribers’ homes each month, sold to Unilever for a whopping $1 billion.

The Dollar Shave Club brand exploded into the public consciousness in 2012, when the company released what can only be described as an exercise in absurdist advertising.

The video ad—which features Dollar Shave Club Founder Mike Dubin, a man in a bear suit, and the f-bomb—has almost 23 million views on YouTube. The success of Dollar Shave Club and their Little-Ad-That-Could confirms what great advertisers have been saying all along: advertising and playing it safe have no business being together.

As David Ogilvy, described by some as the Father of Advertising, famously said: “Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ball park. Aim for the company of immortals.”

Dollar Shave Club certainly hit it out of the park. Dubin, who has a background in improv comedy, explained that he wrote the ad in an attempt to stand out from brands that take themselves too seriously.

He said, “The world is filled with bad commercials and people who are marketing too hard. I think what we wanted to do is not take ourselves too seriously, and deliver an irreverent smart tone.”

This irreverence has certainly inspired copycats. The Dollar Beard Club, which claims to be the manlier alternative to the Dollar Shave Club, piggybacked off of Dubin’s great idea and gained quite a following of their own.

2 million views? Not too shabby.

There is something to be learned from both the Dollar Beard and Dollar Shave Clubs. First, if you see a strategy that works for someone else, try it out: there is a chance it will work for you too. There is no shame in learning from the success of others.

Finally, take risks. Be irreverent. Dust off that old sense of humor and try it on, even if it’s a bit strange and you’re worried it will weird people out.

If you’re feeling exceptionally brave, you could even try to float some puns. It seems to have worked for the Dollar Shave Club.

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Each Thursday, the Viddyad team will choose a new commercial to add to our Video Ad Campaign Hall of Fame. If you have any nominees (video advertisements that made you laugh, made you cry, stood the test of time, or made you go “WHOA”) let us know! Comment below or shoot us an email at

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Playtime in the Workplace: Six Ways That Making Time for Creativity Is Good For Business

Need an excuse to doodle at work? We have compiled a short list of reasons why creative playtime is in fact good for your company, and may just set you apart from your competition.

  1. Creativity Means Adaptability

In a quickly-changing industry, creativity can mean the difference between thriving and becoming obsolete. Encouraging creative thought in the office instead of sticking to the way things have always been done is what leads to breakthroughs and moves companies forward. When the creative wheels of a company are consistently churning out new ideas, and adjusting for failures and successes, then the company manages to stay relevant in a complex and ever-changing market.

The Miracle Mop, the disposable diaper, and sliced bread were all inventions that made an old idea new. The creative minds behind these inventions managed to anticipate and even guide the future of their industries, simply by focusing their efforts on what could be instead of what was.

  1. It’s a Stress-Zapper

Not a yoga person? Making time for creative activities can be just as meditative as deep-breathing and mindfulness. During more routine tasks at work, the mind has space to wander: my tax forms are due soon…I should really buy my niece a present for her birthday…did I leave the stove on? Creative exercises, on the other hand, have the ability to silence extraneous thought and focus the mind. While painting a portrait, playing an instrument or writing an article, everything else simply melts away. Even taking time for a smaller act of creation, like doodling in the margins of a notebook, can re-focus the mind and allow for big ideas to emerge.

  1. More Smiles Around the Office

Time for creativity and play in the office can lead to happier, more energized employees. Many modern offices now have places for employees to to unwind and play. At Dogpatch Labs, where Viddyad is located, there is a pool table, table tennis, and a chess board. These opportunities to play and think creatively allow employees to exercise their strategic muscles in ways different from their work. When employees finish their games, they are refreshed, maybe a bit sweaty, and thinking in new patterns than if they’d been glued to their desk all afternoon.

There is a reason why “work hard” and “play hard” go hand in hand: each makes the other more enjoyable, more sustainable and more fruitful.

  1. It Brings Employees Together

No need to send your employees to a team building retreat in the woods. Simply allowing employees to brainstorm, play, and create together can allow them to build lasting connections. Table tennis partners who realize they work well together may turn around and co-write an outstanding paper. The very act of writing together, which is an act of creation, will build the trust between these very same co-workers and contribute to a more steady, more comfortable work environment.

Any act of creativity or brainstorming is also an act of vulnerability, since it takes courage to throw ideas out into the world and hope they are well-received. This is both the peril and the reward of creativity. Encouraging an open environment in which even the most outlandish ideas are free to be explored can build confidence among employees and allow for free thought.

  1. Creativity Inspires The Customer

Think back to the most memorable ads you’ve seen on TV. Were they memorable because they were promoting the most useful product? Were they memorable because they were reinventing the wheel? Most likely, they were memorable because they were funny, surprising, or inspiring. The ads that we remember are the ones that make us feel something grand.

Every day, we are bombarded by advertisements. The average person may see as many as 5,000 ads per day. With this amount of competition, only the most eye-catching ads can reach the customer and really stick. Only the most well-thought-out ads can move the customer to action. No matter how great the product, it has to be marketed creatively.

  1. Become a Stand-Out Act

The creative talent in a company can be what sets it apart from nearly identical businesses. Whether it be a creative logo or a clever marketing scheme, the customers want to see how you stand out from the pack. At Viddyad, we believe that a video ad campaign can be that push. The difference between a dry, stationary ad and a colorful moving advertisement is palpable, especially in this video-centric age.
We would love to hear about the ways your business has creatively engaged your audience. As a small but creative business ourselves, we are constantly being inspired by other small businesses. Feel free to email us at or post below.

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