Dollar Shave Club made a billboard out of hair

The unusual activation is helping the brand stand out as its new omnichannel strategy brings it to Walmart shelves.

Dollar Shave Club-Dollar Shave Club Gives Canadians One Smooooth

There’s nothing smooth about a new mobile billboard from Dollar Shave Club promoting its arrival on Walmart Canada’s retail shelves.

That’s because the activation uses 30 pounds of real facial hair collected from Canadian influencers, barber shops, schools and individual Canadian groomers to literally spell out the message that Dollar Shave Club kits have arrived at Walmart.

Currently touring around Toronto, making stops at various landmarks last week, the billboard itself is being amplified via earned, influencer and organic social channels. The broader retail launch at Walmart is also being supported with additional paid assets across YouTube, membership engagement and communications, in-store marketing and special offers via discounting app Checkout 51.

Entering physical retail brings the brand’s recent omnichannel retail strategy to the Canadian market. Dollar Shave Club launched in 2011 as a service that provided razors and other shaving products to subscribers on a monthly basis, one of the early success stories that helped kick off the direct-to-consumer boom. In 2016, the company was acquired by Unilever, and last year, debuted a new look as it looked to expand its reach through a new omnichannel strategy that brought it to physical retail. At the beginning of this year, DSC debuted a quirky campaign that positioned the brand as being able to serve whatever need a customer might have.

According to Shagufta Hooda, DSC’s senior brand manager, the brand is hoping the unorthodox billboard will cut through the clutter in a crowded – and often monotonous – category. While a big part of DSC’s previous advertising was the value proposition of being a direct-to-consumer brand, being on shelf alongside more established grooming brands means it is now leaning more on the wit of the brand.

“Our number one goal is to stand out,” says Hooda. “Advertising [in the category] looks very similar, like car ads – it all looks the same. We wanted to move away from what we call ‘wallpaper advertising’ into true, standout marketing that makes people stop, stare and wonder. And we wanted to create brand love in a way that’s authentic to the brand.”

Dollar Shave Club has launched four of its products in Walmart, including its four- and six-blade starter sets, four- and six-blade refills, and a set that includes both a four and six blade razor.

The “Out of Hair” activation was devised by Edelman Toronto, and was the idea the agency pitched that won it the PR and influencer mandate with Dollar Shave Club Canada through 2022. The agency will work with the brand as it expands at retail and seeks to build greater awareness nationally.