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Video Ad Campaign Hall of Fame: Our Blades Are F***ing Great

Becoming an instant billionaire? Sounds f***ing great.

Yesterday, Fortune announced that Dollar Shave Club, a startup that ships razors directly to subscribers’ homes each month, sold to Unilever for a whopping $1 billion.

The Dollar Shave Club brand exploded into the public consciousness in 2012, when the company released what can only be described as an exercise in absurdist advertising.

The video ad—which features Dollar Shave Club Founder Mike Dubin, a man in a bear suit, and the f-bomb—has almost 23 million views on YouTube. The success of Dollar Shave Club and their Little-Ad-That-Could confirms what great advertisers have been saying all along: advertising and playing it safe have no business being together.

As David Ogilvy, described by some as the Father of Advertising, famously said: “Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ball park. Aim for the company of immortals.”

Dollar Shave Club certainly hit it out of the park. Dubin, who has a background in improv comedy, explained that he wrote the ad in an attempt to stand out from brands that take themselves too seriously.

He said, “The world is filled with bad commercials and people who are marketing too hard. I think what we wanted to do is not take ourselves too seriously, and deliver an irreverent smart tone.”

This irreverence has certainly inspired copycats. The Dollar Beard Club, which claims to be the manlier alternative to the Dollar Shave Club, piggybacked off of Dubin’s great idea and gained quite a following of their own.

2 million views? Not too shabby.

There is something to be learned from both the Dollar Beard and Dollar Shave Clubs. First, if you see a strategy that works for someone else, try it out: there is a chance it will work for you too. There is no shame in learning from the success of others.

Finally, take risks. Be irreverent. Dust off that old sense of humor and try it on, even if it’s a bit strange and you’re worried it will weird people out.

If you’re feeling exceptionally brave, you could even try to float some puns. It seems to have worked for the Dollar Shave Club.

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Each Thursday, the Viddyad team will choose a new commercial to add to our Video Ad Campaign Hall of Fame. If you have any nominees (video advertisements that made you laugh, made you cry, stood the test of time, or made you go “WHOA”) let us know! Comment below or shoot us an email at

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Video Ad Campaign Hall of Fame: Generic Brand Video

An old adage tells us that laughter is the best medicine. It’s also the best relief during tense discussions, the best way to appear friendlier than you actually are, and the best way to seem cool even after you trip in front of a bunch of people.

Most importantly, laughter is the best way to build an emotional connection with others. Funny video advertisements have the ability to generate warm feelings and a sense of camaraderie between advertiser and viewer. Advertisements that make people laugh tend to be tweeted, retweeted, replayed and remembered.

One such advertisement is Dissolve’s “This is a Generic Brand Video,” which won the 2015 Shorty Award for Best in B2B (business to business). The Shorty Awards honor the most influential voices in social media, which is a pretty big deal considering how important social media has become in the life of the modern consumer.

“This is a Generic Brand Video” pokes fun at formulaic brand advertisements, which have a predictability and absurdity that may not be apparent upon first viewing, but which nevertheless seem familiar when Dissolve points them out:


Dissolve’s video is a good reference point for advertisers who want to see what to do and what NOT to do. The use of cliches and the lack of sincerity or logic in advertising, which Dissolve is making fun of, should be avoided at all costs. Viewers are smart and tend to notice when an advertisement is disingenuous. When making an advertisement, companies should stick to what’s true, and not just what they think viewers want to hear.

When making a video ad, consider using Dissolve’s tactic of sharp humor. This video is impactful because it doesn’t insult viewers’ intelligence; in fact, it makes it seem like Dissolve and viewers are in on a joke together. Most interestingly, the use of humor covers up the fact that the video is itself an advertisement. Through this video, Dissolve is able to gain brand recognition, free publicity, and hits to their website, all while giving viewers a good time.


Each Thursday, the Viddyad team will choose a new commercial to add to our Video Ad Campaign Hall of Fame. If you have any nominees (video advertisements that made you laugh, made you cry, stood the test of time, or made you go “WHOA”) let us know! Comment below or shoot us an email at


Video Ad Campaign Hall of Fame: Daisy Ad

There are some video advertisements that our eyes see but our brains don’t register. There are some ads that we forget as soon as we see them. Other ads may have a catchy jingle that gets stuck in our heads for awhile, or even a slogan that we can recite years later. And then there are the ads that stick with us forever; that capture us, move us, and change us. The Daisy Ad is one of those ads.


Released in 1964, the Daisy Ad was the mother of the modern political attack ad. The advertisement was made for the presidential campaign of Lyndon B. Johnson, who had entered the oval office in 1963 when JFK was assassinated. In 1964, he was defending his presidency against Republican candidate Barry Goldwater.

Before the Daisy Ad, presidential candidates weren’t expected to exchange the vicious, emotionally-charged attack ads Americans are accustomed to these days. Take, for example, JFK’s 1960 presidential election ad:


It’s a cute tune: that’s for sure. But if presumptive 2016 presidential candidates Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton ran an ad like this, they’d likely face the wrath of endless internet trolls. (Don’t believe us? Ask Mitch McConnell.)

Political ads today have some teeth to them. More importantly, they have the ability to tug at viewers’ most powerful emotions, like anger and fear. For this, we have the Doyle Dane Bernbach ad agency to thank. They are the masterminds behind the Daisy Ad, and since they hit the scene, the ad world just hasn’t been the same.

According to the Smithsonian Magazine, the DDB agency had a policy of treating advertising like art, not science. The founder of the company would tell his employees “Playing it safe can be the most dangerous thing in the world, because you’re presenting people with an idea they’ve seen before, and you won’t have an impact.”

The DDB agency truly practiced what they preached. The Daisy ad had the impact of, well, an atomic bomb—not only on the political advertising landscape, but on the hearts of viewers. The ad made such a big impact, in fact, that the advertisers only had to pay to broadcast it one time; after that, the news networks picked it up and played it for free.

So, how can you make an ad that’s as powerful as the Daisy ad?

Prioritize pathos.

Appeal to the emotions and values of viewers, instead of simply their logic. Yes, your product or service may have many convenient and practical features. But there is also something about your business that will pull on the heartstrings of your viewers. Maybe it’s that you took over the company when your father or mother passed away. Maybe it’s that you give a percentage of your proceeds to charity. If you can remind viewers of your goodness—of your humanity—then your advertisement will have the impact of the Daisy Ad (sans atomic bomb).

Each Thursday, the Viddyad team will choose a new commercial to add to our Video Ad Campaign Hall of Fame. If you have any nominees (video advertisements that made you laugh, made you cry, stood the test of time, or made you go “WHOA”) let us know! Comment below or shoot us an email at


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Videos Gone Live: Tumblr is the Next to Launch Live Video

Video seems to be all over the news lately, so it has probably solidified its position as the next big thing. But you might also be hearing whispers about live video, and rightly so, because a multitude of social networks are implementing live video into their platforms. So let’s break it down, who’s doing what with live video?

The second largest search engine in the world, YouTube, has had the option of making live videos for a number of years, live video never really became a must-use feature. Maybe it was too soon for live video, and the online world just wasn’t ready. It can also be difficult to find live videos on YouTube.  For a viewer to know when a video is live, they need to be subscribed to that specific channel. Only then will they be notified when a video is broadcasting live, other than that it comes down to luck if you stumble across a live video. This problem is easier to get around for the likes of Twitter and Facebook, because they are primarily social, rather than primarily video. It’s easier to find what people are doing and saying on Twitter and Facebook.

Twitter confirmed its acquisition of periscope back in March 2015, which got the ball rolling for the other social networks to jump on board with live video. Periscope allows users to create a live video which remains on their account for 24 hours, after which it will be deleted and gone from the internet forever. This was a great move for Twitter whose user growth has slowed. If Twitter manages to monetize periscope correctly it may become a key revenue driver for the company.

Facebook followed shortly after, but instead of acquiring an already existing product, Facebook started from scratch. They’ve partnered with several digital media publishers, including Buzzfeed  to push live video across multiple audiences. The first Facebook live video that Buzzfeed published was of two team members attempting to explode a watermelon with rubber bands. The watermelon stayed strong until the 44 minutes mark and the audience reached a peak of over 800,000 people watching live. The video now has over 10 million views, this being the differentiating factor between Twitter’s periscope. When a video goes live on Facebook, it stays on a person’s profile until they either delete it or set it to expire after a certain length of time.

Even Amazon is all aboard the live video train, with their product Twitch. Twitch is a platform to watch live video gaming, e-sports competitions and music broadcasts. The more focused video topics shuts the platform off to people who aren’t interested in what Twitch has to offer, but that move may actually keep its user base happy as they have a more focused online community.

The latest name to enter the live video realm is Tumblr. Bought in 2013 by Yahoo! (The acquisition outraged Tumblr users) The blogging site has 550 million monthly users, and can be a pretty mysterious place when you don’t know what you’re doing. Tumblr have taken a different approach when it came to implementing live streaming onto their platform. The Tumblr platform supports a multitude of live streaming platforms. These include YouTube, Kanvas and Upclose.

This can be considered a great move for Tumblr. Instead of dedicating time and money trying to create another platform for people to sign up to, they let other companies do the hard work but reap the benefits of the progression of live video. Multiplatform support also means great news for their revenue stream. It may indeed mean that they can negotiate strong marketing deals with a multitude of brands.

It’s a smooth move for Tumblrs parent company Yahoo who aren’t well known for their innovative ideas. Their future is highly uncertain. In 2012 they changed CEO 4 times, eventually settling on the current CEO Marrisa Mayer, who despite best intentions still hasn’t managed to get Yahoo! out of the old folk’s home. In fact, back when Yahoo acquired Tumblr Marrisa Mayer stated ‘Tumblr is incredibly special’ and promised not to ‘screw it up’.  

As of February 2016, Tumblrs value decreased by $230 million dollars. Rumours are circulating again, and the core of those rumours involve Yahoo being sold, but only time will tell what will happen to Yahoo, and in turn Tumblr, and if the move to support live video will work wonders for revenue.
It looks like live video is here to stay, and it will probably only continue to grow in popularity in the next number of years. Will it ever replace regular pre-recorded video? Probably not. Pre-recorded video gives the user a lot more control over the content being published. It’s safer and live video takes that safety away. While younger generations may be more open to taking risks and making mistakes with the content they upload, brands certainly won’t be as quick to take those risks.


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Viddyad - fun at work

Playtime in the Workplace: Six Ways That Making Time for Creativity Is Good For Business

Need an excuse to doodle at work? We have compiled a short list of reasons why creative playtime is in fact good for your company, and may just set you apart from your competition.

  1. Creativity Means Adaptability

In a quickly-changing industry, creativity can mean the difference between thriving and becoming obsolete. Encouraging creative thought in the office instead of sticking to the way things have always been done is what leads to breakthroughs and moves companies forward. When the creative wheels of a company are consistently churning out new ideas, and adjusting for failures and successes, then the company manages to stay relevant in a complex and ever-changing market.

The Miracle Mop, the disposable diaper, and sliced bread were all inventions that made an old idea new. The creative minds behind these inventions managed to anticipate and even guide the future of their industries, simply by focusing their efforts on what could be instead of what was.

  1. It’s a Stress-Zapper

Not a yoga person? Making time for creative activities can be just as meditative as deep-breathing and mindfulness. During more routine tasks at work, the mind has space to wander: my tax forms are due soon…I should really buy my niece a present for her birthday…did I leave the stove on? Creative exercises, on the other hand, have the ability to silence extraneous thought and focus the mind. While painting a portrait, playing an instrument or writing an article, everything else simply melts away. Even taking time for a smaller act of creation, like doodling in the margins of a notebook, can re-focus the mind and allow for big ideas to emerge.

  1. More Smiles Around the Office

Time for creativity and play in the office can lead to happier, more energized employees. Many modern offices now have places for employees to to unwind and play. At Dogpatch Labs, where Viddyad is located, there is a pool table, table tennis, and a chess board. These opportunities to play and think creatively allow employees to exercise their strategic muscles in ways different from their work. When employees finish their games, they are refreshed, maybe a bit sweaty, and thinking in new patterns than if they’d been glued to their desk all afternoon.

There is a reason why “work hard” and “play hard” go hand in hand: each makes the other more enjoyable, more sustainable and more fruitful.

  1. It Brings Employees Together

No need to send your employees to a team building retreat in the woods. Simply allowing employees to brainstorm, play, and create together can allow them to build lasting connections. Table tennis partners who realize they work well together may turn around and co-write an outstanding paper. The very act of writing together, which is an act of creation, will build the trust between these very same co-workers and contribute to a more steady, more comfortable work environment.

Any act of creativity or brainstorming is also an act of vulnerability, since it takes courage to throw ideas out into the world and hope they are well-received. This is both the peril and the reward of creativity. Encouraging an open environment in which even the most outlandish ideas are free to be explored can build confidence among employees and allow for free thought.

  1. Creativity Inspires The Customer

Think back to the most memorable ads you’ve seen on TV. Were they memorable because they were promoting the most useful product? Were they memorable because they were reinventing the wheel? Most likely, they were memorable because they were funny, surprising, or inspiring. The ads that we remember are the ones that make us feel something grand.

Every day, we are bombarded by advertisements. The average person may see as many as 5,000 ads per day. With this amount of competition, only the most eye-catching ads can reach the customer and really stick. Only the most well-thought-out ads can move the customer to action. No matter how great the product, it has to be marketed creatively.

  1. Become a Stand-Out Act

The creative talent in a company can be what sets it apart from nearly identical businesses. Whether it be a creative logo or a clever marketing scheme, the customers want to see how you stand out from the pack. At Viddyad, we believe that a video ad campaign can be that push. The difference between a dry, stationary ad and a colorful moving advertisement is palpable, especially in this video-centric age.
We would love to hear about the ways your business has creatively engaged your audience. As a small but creative business ourselves, we are constantly being inspired by other small businesses. Feel free to email us at or post below.

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