The Great Brush-Off And Why It Pays To Innovate

The power of social media and YouTube in particular to propel an individual to cult-like status is well known. Witness the rise of Justin Beiber or the Susan Boyle phenomenon.

What is less appreciated is the success of small businesses in harnessing the marketing potential of YouTube.

Large companies such as Old Spice have developed highly successful campaigns on a YouTube sponsored channel.

Orabrush is a small company that makes a brush and scraper which they claim removes bacteria from the tongue.

Surely a challenging product to push with strong competitors, but they are now poised to become in their own words, a “global retail powerhouse.”

Dr. Bob Wagstaff the 75 yr old inventor of the Orabrush spent eight years trying to bring Orabrush to market. He spent over $40,000 on an infomercial and it only sold about 100 orders.

He approached Walmart, Walgreens, CVS and many others, but no one was interested in his tongue cleaner. He approached Oral-B and Colgate asking if they wanted to buy his patent. They were not interested.

In 2009, as a last ditch effort, Dr. Bob went to the Marriott School of Management at BYU and asked a market research class to see if they could come up with new ways to market the product online.

One student, Jeffrey Harmon, noted that 8% of those surveyed would buy the product online and by his calculation this small percentage still equated to millions of potential customers.

Dr Bob offered Jeffrey his old motorcycle in return for helping market Orabrush. Jeffrey got some friends together and produced a bad breath YouTube video and as they say, the rest in history.

Having risen to #2 behind Old Spice, Orabrush has shipped more than $1 million worth of tongue brushes to 114 countries and attracted the support of Google who have developed a widget for them that sells the product straight from the YouTube page.

Orabrush’s 34.7 million video views have seen them move ahead of the likes of Disney and Apple in the most video subscriber stakes.

The video content is zany and entertaining;  the “Diary of a Dirty Tongue” is updated every Tuesday.

Having 266,00 Fans and 270,794 Likes on Facebook plus 3, 800 Twitter followers also contributes to their success, as does their rather novel ‘Bad Breath detector’ app. The latter blurts out comments such as, “I’ve never wanted to be flossed so much in my life.”

To cap it off, Orabrush has just raised $2.5 million on the back of this social media performance.  Not bad for a small company in semi-rural Utah.  They believe in their product and were prepared to innovate using social media.

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About thedigitalconsultant

Roger Smith is an international, digital consultant and former British Council Director of Online Operations within the East Asia region. http://thedigitalconsultant.blogspot.com
This entry was posted in Merchandising, Social Media, Video and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Great Brush-Off And Why It Pays To Innovate

  1. ‘Return of the Old Spice Guy’ Pulls Icon’s Biggest First-Week Viral Numbers Yet.
    http://adage.com/digitalnext/post?article_id=148911

  2. Social Marketing Continues Meteoric Rise Among Local Businesses
    http://bit.ly/i7ytfq

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