"No, this isn't a fucking mirage; and yes, it starts at a buck a month."
You might bristle at such language, but it's business as usual for Dollar Beard Club's mane man, Chris Stoikos. The 27-year-old entrepreneur, who's lobbed F-bombs in ads before, delivers that line from atop a camel in the company's latest wild and wooly ad.
It's his most elaborate production yet, with action "spanning the globe," from Arctic climes to blazing deserts and sweltering jungles, in trademark low-budget (bro-budget?) beard-in-cheek style. Throughout, our hirsute hero pitches his monthly service, which provides affordable shipments of balms, waxes, oils and other stuff to make hairy men merry.
"Long spots are the way we roll," Stoikos tells AdFreak of the nearly two-minute video. "The stories they tell are the reason we have built such a massive and loyal following in such a short period of time." Indeed, the strategy has helped the brand sign up 70,000 subscribers in less than year.
In the new ad, Stoikos fuses the off-kilter style of Dollar Shave Club (no relation beyond the name's echo) with his own brand of bushy braggadocio to create a wooly world traversed by … jet-ski, what else? Along the way, and occasionally shirtless, he goofs around with eskimos, bedouins, a Tarzan look-alike (with two Janes), beardless dudes wearing antlers—and a monkey. (Given Stoikos' impressive eight-inch beard, the wee primate probably thought it was hanging out with the ultimate alpha male.)
"We shot six scenes in six full days," Stoikos says. "The most fun part was definitely riding the camel."
This amusingly overblown (and overgrown) creative approach definitely delivers (and should delight the young-male target demo), though one wonders whether such tactics, and the Beard Club concept itself, might wear smooth over time.
But such suggestions make Stoikos' hair stand on end.
"The question should be: How long until we remove the societal brainwashing—mainly played out in workplace and by significant others—that forces men to shave and effectively causes old-school Vikings to look like prepubescent boys?" he says. "The answer is: In the next year, more men will be rocking beards than not. Mark those words."
Client: Dollar Beard Club
Director: Chris Stoikos
Producer: Corey Sheppard
Writers: Chris Stoikos, Tim Merlau