See the Spot: Dollar Shave Puts Real Customer-Service Reps in Ads

Online Campaign Aims to Enliven Dull FAQs With Humor, and Some S&M

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Dollar Shave Club has 3 million members now, but it still has plenty of unanswered questions among men who may be on the fence about joining. So it's launching "What the FAQ," a digital video series featuring real customer-service reps answering heavily dramatized and embellished versions of real customer questions.

By putting real customer-service reps, known as "club pros," front and center, Dollar Shave has an ulterior motive. It wants to show that they really exist, in the U.S., operating without scripts, and that they're pretty accessible. The retailer has 85 "club pros" who answer an average of 3,000 queries daily either by phone, email, chat or, soon, video chat, said Nick Fairbairn, VP-brand development. "We pride ourselves on not being the typical dot-com experience," he said.

Dollar Shave Club expects to do $240 million in sales this year, up from $153 million last year, Mr. Fairbairn said. And around 45% of its members now buy something other than razors, including recently introduced Big Cloud skincare products or Wanderer bath products. But the campaign, called internally the "middle funnel campaign," aims to convince people who are aware of the brand but haven't taken the plunge because of questions or reservations.

"We have millions of members and sometimes we assume everybody knows how it works," said Alec Brownstein, VP-creative, who led creation of the campaign through DSC's in-house agency. "But a lot of people hear of us but don't know how it works."

Showing humorous vignettes, ranging from child executives to a bit of bondage and discipline, DSC also aims to make the typical FAQ more interesting. "We have this huge team of club pros, and so we felt this was the perfect way to tell the stories of these FAQs, which aren't typically interesting or engaging," Mr. Brownstein said.

The campaign will live online in pre-roll ads and other formats, including use as modules serving as actual FAQs on the website, Mr. Brownstein said, adding that it has production quality that would allow adaptation for TV if needed.

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