Dollar Shave Club and Edelman create an OOH (out of hair) mobile billboard

Things are getting kinda hairy at Dollar Shave Club Canada, with the Unilever brand going to extreme lengths to promote its first retail partnership in Canada.

The razor brand and Edelman Canada have created a mobile billboard made with 30 lbs of actual facial hair to promote its debut at Walmart stores. The 10-foot by 20-foot mobile billboard is currently touring Toronto to promote the partnership.

The brand team first approached Edelman about a “disruptive” way of promoting the partnership, said senior brand manager Shagufta Hooda. “The brief we gave Edelman was to create a disruptive launch that keeps Dollar Shave Club top of mind among men and encourages them to buy [the brand] at Walmart.”

Jaws dropped when Edelman originally presented the idea during a video call presentation, she said. At the same time they recognized that it fit perfectly with the brand’s tone.

“We’re a brand that’s witty and super-creative,” said Hooda. “When the idea was first presented to us I was shocked, but in that same second I loved it.”

Dollar Shave Club enlisted a group of influencers including Abdulla KhatibConor Cutz and Jake Mossop to save their beard hair clippings, as well as a barber school and people in both the client and agency employees’ personal networks (see the making of video below).

The campaign goal is to raise awareness of Dollar Shave Club and its new presence at Walmart, while also growing brand affinity, said Hooda.

“Dollar Shave Club is an incredibly fun, personable brand, and we wanted people to be reminded of its humorous, witty personality, and through that comes brand love,” she said. “When you make someone feel something, they’re automatically more inclined to love the brand and want to purchase the brand.”

Hooda described the bullseye target for Dollar Shave Club as a 32-year-old “vulnerable confident” guy. “He’s a guy who has his life together, but he’s still learning,” she said. “He almost thinks of himself as a work in progress.” Other purchase groups include grooming enthusiasts, those who regard grooming as a chore and like to check out products on shelf, and “in-on-the-secret” women who know that men’s razors work better and cost less.

Michael Dubin launched Dollar Shave Club as a direct-to-consumer brand in 2012, with the company growing to annual sales north of $200 million and a reported 10% share of the U.S. razor blade market before being purchased by Unilever for $1 billion in 2016.

Under the packaged goods giant’s stewardship, it has endeavoured to become an omnichannel brand. That includes a U.S. partnership with Walmart announced last year, followed by subsequent expansion into retailers including Target, Walgreens, Rite Aid and Safeway.

“Being only in the DTC channel means we’re not as accessible to our consumers as we need to be,” said Hooda of the push into brick-and-mortar retail. “It’s around continuing to be accessible to our consumers and welcome more Canadians to the Club.”  

Chris Powell