Super Bowl

Dollar Shave Club Makes Surprise Super Bowl Entry

'Zeke the Dirtbag Razor' Slips in Ahead of Schick's Battling Robot Razors

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The Super Bowl became a battle of the challenger razor brands as Dollar Shave Club brought its razor insurgency to the Super Bowl with a surprise buy in the first quarter ahead of rival Schick's fourth-quarter buy.

DSC bought the ad in the third quarter of last year but decided to keep its decision close to the vest, said CEO Michael Dubin in an interview during halftime of the game. "We weren't sure which ad we wanted to run, and we wanted the flexibility to pull out if we decided to," he said.

Mr. Dubin said last year his brand had passed Edgewell Personal Care Co.'s Schick for No. 2 in men's razor cartridges by volume, and while data from Slice Intelligence seemed to support that, it can't be independently confirmed. Prohibitive category leader Gillette is the one major player sitting out this year's game.

Mr. Dubin said Sunday that DSC did $153 million in sales last year and is now up to 2.9 million subscribers, with a 16% volume share of men's cartridges.

"This is about taking our awareness up another notch," Mr. Dubin said. Early response during the game was "right on forecast."

Adam Weber, recently appointed CMO (from VP-consumer marketing), said he expects the Super Bowl ad to pay off over the whole month of February and into the second quarter.

"Most of the light TV viewers throughout the year come and get really engaged in football, and the Super Bowl is the peak of that," Mr. Weber said. "It's your one chance a year really to reach all men in America. "

Dollar Shave's in-house-created spot featured Zeke "the dirtbag razor," who suggests a menage a trois in the shower with a man and his mate. The message from Mr. Dubin during a cameo in the ad is that guys don't have to keep using dirty razors to save money when they can get Dollar Shave Club delivered for less.

"We started with the insight we keep hearing from our consumer, which is how much they enjoy shaving with a fresh blade and conversely how miserable it is to shave with an old blade," said DSC Creative Director Alec Brownstein.