What viral videos can teach us about building a brand

Many forward-looking companies are having huge success integrating YouTube into their social media strategy. Besides just engaging on the YouTube platform itself, brands can integrate other networks by creating conversations on Twitter or forming communities on Facebook, all tailored around the YouTube video.

One example of this is Orabrush. The campaign’s a couple of years old, but the lessons are still there. To start off with you have to watch the video:

What started off as a bit of a dud product on a lesser known low key shopping channel became the brainchild of (student at the time) Jeffrey Harmon.

Dr. Bob Wagstaff (the 75-year-old inventor of the Orabrush) didn’t seem to be having much luck with getting his product to market. After approaching, and being turned down, by the big players like Colgate, Oral B and Wal-Mart, he approached the Marriott School of Management at BYU to see if any of the students in the market research class could come up with ideas to market the product online. Small fish are fish too.

The findings weren’t too encouraging. They found that 92% of the people who would actually like to try Orabrush will not buy Orabrush on the internet. It was suggested that Wagstaff drop the idea of marketing Orabrush online.

That’s when Jeffrey Harmon stuck his hand up and asked “That means 8% probably will buy Orabrush. That is millions of people, why don’t you focus on them?”

As they say, the rest is history.

Video on a budget
The real beauty behind this brand is that its success is all pinned around the creation of a very viral video, which quite literally made its makers famous.

After roping in a few more key players, Jeffery and his new Orabrush team put together a YouTube video. The video generated millions of views and put Orabrush on the map. The brand was now getting noticed by major distributors and retailers and product was literally flying off the virtual shelves.

The power of viral
This just goes to show the power of video. Especially when it goes viral. The key thing that attributed to Orabrush’s success was its sharability. By focusing on quite an awkward topic and the controversial nature of the ad made people want to share it amongst their communities lead to its booming success.

A great use of viral video. Definitely one for the books.



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