The Marketer's Apprentice

Video Marketing Case Study: An Effective Intro


The first 10 seconds of a marketing video is arguably the MOST important part.

It has the potential to do the following:

  • capture your target audience’s attention, and encouraging them to listen to the rest of your message
  • communicate your company’s unique selling proposition (USP)
  • communicate the purpose of your video

Watch this 10 second intro

If you’re a member of The Marketer’s Apprentice newsletter, you’ll recognize this video segment already :)  However, today we’re not just going to sit back, relax and watch the intro.  Today I’m going to:

  • share the script
  • point out some key elements you may have overlooked. 

Now let’s take a look at what makes this intro so effective:

Here’s the script they used

Hi, I’m Mike, founder of Dollar Shave Club dot com. What is Dollar Shave Club dot com? Well, for a dollar a month, we send high quality razors, right to your door.

Notice how the company’s USP is communicated within the first 10 seconds

In the script above, notice how: (i) the company’s name— communicates their USP and (ii) they go beyond the obvious to explicitly STATE their USP as an answer to their target market’s question: “What is Dollar Shave Club anyway?”  Within 10 seconds, there’s no question in the audience’s mind about what the offer is. This is good, but the magic is in the details…

Humor and irony quickly engages and creates desire to continue

Notice how the founder (actor?) Mike, delivers his message in a very serious, professional tone. In addition to his tone, he refers to himself as “founder”, which positions him as the head hauncho of his company. Yet, the viewer can’t help but wonder if he’s a “joker” as they evaluate his office, which seems to contradict the seriousness of his tone. Right away, curiousity is aroused which triggers an innate human desire to learn more…

Now watch as he quickly transitions and overcomes their biggest sales objection

Immediately after communicating his company’s USP, Mike quickly states, “Yeah, a dollar. Are the blades any good? No… our blades are f***ing great!”

Now, three goals are accomplished:

  • the audience is hooked and will likely see the video through to the end. The audience has figured out that the video is a spoof, but suspense remains—is the product for real?, what other funny things are to come?
  • deepening of the company’s relationship with their target audience. The use of profanity communicates a lot. Only you know if you’re target audience can handle it.  In this case, it’s one guy talking to the other guys, so of course Mike can get away with the bleeped-out word.  Again, in marketing terms: Mike is talking directly to his target market.
  • addressing and overcoming objections of prospective customers— “For a dollar, what kinds of blade am I going to get?”

Now it’s your turn

I hope by breaking down the first two scenes in the Dollar Shave Club’s marketing video, I’ve helped you understand more about how YOU can engage your ideal audience with video.

In particular, the above scenes illustrated the importance of:

  • capturing your audience within the first 10 seconds of your video
  • clearly communicating your offer (and ideally, how it differentiates you from your competition)
  • arousing curiosity to encourage your audience to listen through to the end of your sales message

What do you think?

Did my commentary help sharpen your marketing eyes? What do you see now… that you didn’t before?

Let me know in the comments below.

Related posts:

  1. Case Study: a Facebook Advertising Blunder
  2. Case Study: Facebook Advertising Success

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Millie Lavoisier March 12, 2012 at 2:51 am

Hi Jenn!

I’m glad you wrote that article. My analysis was close to what you wrote, which tells me I’m getting better and better at marketing. This video is an awesome case study. I love following you and your work. It’s always high quality!



Jenn March 12, 2012 at 4:34 am

Right on Millie—that is great news that you’re developing your marketing eye so well!


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