Can ‘Butt Wipes’ Do Viral Video No. 2?

Last year, Dollar Shave Club made a big Internet splash with a funny, viral video, explaining why their razor blades were, in their words , “f***ing great.”

After 10.4 million video views, the company captured the attention of 200,000 paid subscribers, who receive monthly deliveries of razor blades. One year later, DSC is trying to find the same success with No. 2 … literally, launching a new product CEO Michael Dubin refers to as “butt wipes” in a video that debuted two days ago.

“We want to own the bathroom,” Dubin told The company conducted a survey of 1,000 men, and found that 51% already use moist wipes in the bathroom – but don’t have a product target specifically to them, or one they feel comfortable leaving out.

The video for the wipes follows a similar format to the company’s first big success. Dubin, who has improv comedy training, stars in both, and says he’s a big believer in the power of video marketing.

“That’s why we have television commercials – for exchanging that message. Given my experience and what I’m passionate about, I thought I would be able to develop a nice piece of creative,” said Dubin, though he says he was surprised by the public’s response to the first video.

Can Lightning Strike Twice? On Wednesday, 24 hours after the video for “One Wipe Charlies” went online, Dubin estimated it’s been watched by 500,000 viewers.

Despite the tremendous success of the first video, the CEO says he wasn’t overly nervous about his second act. “My impression is that nothing would be as well-received as the first, even in a parallel universe where the second was better. We lacked a critical element of surprise [with the second],” said Dubin.

That said, Dubin admits he was hoping the slightly taboo subject matter would help catapult the video for “One Wipe Charlies” to viral status. He says the company will launch several other products this year aimed at men, but the wipes would make the biggest statement.

As to whether the second video will be just as successful in attracting new clients for Dollar Shave Club, Ultra Light Startups founder and industry expert Graham Lawlor says he’s not so sure.

“The problem with virality is that you never know until it happens. You can spend a lot of time producing a video in the hopes of virality, and it just won’t work,” says Lawlor, who notes that even famous comedians don’t necessarily know when a joke will be a hit.

Despite this warning, Lawlor believes product explanation videos like Dollar Shave Club’s can be tremendously helpful in explaining a company’s service or product to an audience – and a lot more entertaining than wading through a lengthy mission statement.

Is Dollar Shave Club Spreading Itself Too Thin, Too Soon? Given that Dollar Shave Club is already in a market up against giants like Gillette, Lawlor says there is some risk of trying to do too much at once with the introduction of “One Wipe Charlies.”

“What we hear of with best practices is do one thing really well and be the best, and don’t spread yourself too thin,” said Lawlor.

But Dubin said he believes the demand is clearly out there for men’s wipes. While 51% of the men the company surveyed said they already use wipes, 18% said they only use wipes, and never use toilet paper at all.

The hope is to reach these men who are already Dollar Shave Club members; Dubin said when users get the monthly e-mail that their razor  blades are shipping, they’ll be asked if they want to add an order of wipes (or the company’s other product, a “shave butter”) to the order.

“It makes life better in the bathroom. It’s a better wipe, and cleaner way to do it,” says Dubin, hoping that men won’t be embarrassed to have the sleekly designed One Wipe Charlies out on display.