For me, it all started with Dollar Shave Club. It arrived on scene with a fresh, new way of doing advertising.
“Are our blades any good?” founder Michael Dubin asked. “No. Our blades are f**king great,” he said without skipping a beat.
Just like that, gone were the days of boring, everyday sundries. Dollar Shave Club—in a single ad campaign—just defined its entire brand with a touch of crass and a bold pronouncement of four-letter words.
And everybody loved it.
Fast forward a few years later: I can easily remember sitting across the desk from Joe, my soon-to-be boss. Fresh out of “I’ve been being a mom for the last decade, juggling four kids and a part-time career,” I was interviewing to become the marketing and communications director for a small, conservative university. I crossed my fingers and hoped this could be the start of my re-emergence into full-time employment.
“Tell me about a brand that has done a great job with advertising,” Joe asked me.
The only brand that came to mind was Dollar Shave Club. They had bucked the system. They thrilled and enthralled. They made their audience laugh and entertained with 90 seconds of advertisement.
But this was a small, conservative university. How in the world could I say the use of “f**king” was refreshing and hilarious and effective?
But, in a typical “To hell with it moment,” I owned my analysis and touted all the grandeur of the ad campaign. Twelve hours later, the job was mine.