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What I did for a close shave

I fell for a Facebook advertisement.

If you are a man, you’ve probably seen the ad on Facebook for the Dollar Shave Club. I finally gave in to the temptation tonight and I’ve ordered a supply of the 4X option. I never thought I would let Facebook influence a purchase, but it happened. The allure of the product was too strong and the investment risk is minimal. I’m hoping for the best.DollarShaveClub

Let’s do the numbers.

For starters I typically get over one month from the same blade with my current marketing hyped multi-blade cartridge. I do this by keeping the blade dry between uses. After a shave, I make sure to dry the blade by shaking-out excess water and using a towel. Then I store the blade pressed against a silica moisture packet. If you haven’t tried this then I encourage you do so. It’s the secret the blade marketers don’t want you to know.

With my existing blades, I can buy 8 cartridges for $26. If I get 4 weeks (conservative with my drying method) from each cartridge then that is 32 weeks for $26.

For the 4X option in the Dollar Shave Club I will receive 4 cartridges per month for $6. So for 32 weeks (8 months) my investment is $48. That’s almost 2x the cost as just buying a cartridge locally. However, I’ll have 32 cartridges in that span of time. If I cancel the monthly subscription after 8 months. I should have 24 remaining cartridges in supply which is enough to last me another 2 years!

Thinking of it another way my cost per cartridge (also my cost per month) with my existing method is $3.25. With the Dollar Shave Club my cost per cartridge after 8 months is $1.50.

Of course this assumes the product works.

I bet the blades will be fine. I still can’t believe I fell for a Facebook ad. But I’ll do anything for a close shave. Or maybe I just like squeezing another buck in my favor. Kudos on the product marketing by Dollar Shave Club team.

If you want to check out their options and start your own trial then follow this link.


Update July 13 – 

I looked more closely at the Dollar Shave Club site today and noticed they have options to lessen the frequency of delivery as well as an option to pause delivery. This is a great feature for customers like me who may want to extend the life of a cartridge beyond a week.

Online video ad usage is surging

Online advertising is becoming more advanced and taking advantage of consumers attraction to video elements. According to eMarketer online video ad spending will grow by a compound annual rate of 38% in a five-year span ending in 2015. That’s the fastest growing category in the study. In total spend though, video ads are expected to remain far below search and banner ads. I expect that will hold as video assets can be more expensive to produce and deploy. In fact it was the top factor cited for limiting growth potential in another study by eMarketer.

What I think is more interesting is the variety of opinions on how video ads should be used and measured. Measurement is a bit more complicated than tracking clicks to a hyperlink or banner ad. For example a non-linear (runs parallel to other content) video ad is something the marketer knows a customer does not necessarily see or pay attention to within the context of the main content. Is the tracking and effectiveness simply based on impressions? Does it require a full play of the content? How do we measure customers that abandon the video or pause the content play-back? Is it possible to track a video viewing to a sale? What about social sharing and conversations (buzz)?

In my personal experience I’ve observed linear video ads (in-stream with other content before, mid, or after) the most. They play between video news clips on CNN and before free music sets on Last.fm.  Speaking honestly, I have not found these two examples annoying. They are short, 30 seconds or less, and I’ve concluded the trade-off of playing the ads acceptable to consume the free content.

For some reason I’m not so content with other types of ads. If I’m trying to read content on a site, I don’t like the moving ads that cover my reading area and require a click to remove. Theoretically, I guess I should accept these ads as well in exchange for free content. But I don’t. Maybe there is a different psychology to non-linear ads. The linear video ads are closer to traditional television, so perhaps my mind is trained to accept them. Tell me your thoughts on this in the comments.

For fun I am listing my favorite video ad thus far. This one played for months in front of the Last.fm music. I still laugh when I watch it.