I’m a Halitophobic – Orabrush Goes National Using Social Media.

Forrester Hinds    November 5, 2015

Organisation name: Orabrush

Website: https://www.orabrush.com/home/#

Industry: Tongue cleaning brushes.

Over 90% of bad breath can be fixed, defining the problem and providing a solution.

After investing $40,000 into a television infomercial that drove negligible sales, having consumers walk passed the Orabrush on store shelves without so much as a second glance, and having hygiene companies turn down an offer of sale on his patent, Dr, Bob Wagstaff felt he needed help. Having spent years trying to drive interest and sales through conventional methods, Dr. Wagstaff approached MBA students pleading for help.

One of these students, Jeffery Harmon, provided Dr. Wagstaff with a suggestion he initially had reservations about: marketing the brush on the web. With Jeffrey’s initial offering of $500 to produce a video, Dr. Wagstaff gave Jeffery Harmon his blessing to create video marketing materials and try his idea. Working his days as a fulltime Social Marketing Manager, Harmon had only his nights to allocate to this project. He first started by obtaining the rights to a video about how to tell if you have bad breath and posted it to Facebook, effectively defining the problem that Orabrush solves for consumers. Harmon found that their consumer-base grew 3 times after that video post.

Having seen success with a generic video, Harmon began plans for a video that both taught consumers  how to check for bad breath and explained how Orabrush prevents it, “What if we had a video that taught people how to tell if they had bad breath and in the same video taught them about Orabrush?” Luckily Harmon had Austin Craig interning at his day job.

Using the simple statistic of where bad breath comes from and Austin Craig’s conversational comedy; Marmon produced this commercial for less than $500 in a pool hall:

Garnering over 24 million views on YouTube to date, this video initially drove over 10,000 units in sales for Orabrush and sold out their stocks. Harmon knew he was onto something.  Riding the popularity of their first video, Harmon created a regular episodic character called Morgan the Orabrush Tongue who was skewed towards comedic entertainment for the viewer; with marketing the brand as an underlying motive.

The initial success of the Orabrush Marketing video led to a Walmart Store Manager trying, loving, and eventually carrying the Orabrush in his store. From there, other Store Managers in the Utah area saw the display, looked up the product, and also wanted to carry the Orabrush. Seeing the product’s reach expand, the Orabrush team started creating personalized videos for Walmart executives showcasing reasons they should distribute the product nationally.

Knowing how competitive the acquisition of Walmart shelf-space is, they also used YouTube and Facebook’s new targeted ad services to target Walmart employees in the town where Walmart is headquartered, Bentonville, Arkansas. $28 in marketing costs later they received an email from Walmart asking if they could provide 735,000 units for nationwide distribution. Austin Craig attributes their use of YouTube to the initial spark of attention by their executives and their personalized Facebook ads, “Walmart employees have bad breath,” to their success in garnering Walmart as a customer. Austin Craig says that YouTube sparked their interest and Facebook kept the spark going. Orabrush’s revolutionary business marketing has even been the subject of a number of Podcasts, news reports, and blog posts:


Lessons for others: Having gone from local distribution to nationwide within a year using YouTube, analyzing metrics, and targeting specific demographics, Orabrush serves as an excellent example of how to correctly define a problem and provide a solution to consumers.  All this while simultaneously entertaining and encouraging the sharing of your marketing material. Oral Hygiene isn’t a sector I would expect to engage in revolutionary use of social media, but Orabrush completely surpassed the expectations of almost any company. They expanded their business and consumer-base using only YouTube promotional materials and continued to captivate their audience, one of them being a younger Forrester, by crafting entertaining videos and providing a product that worked. Since the Orabrush production, they created the Orapup dog tongue cleaner with the same formula the Orabrush videos used.

Author: Forrester Hinds, Social Media for Business Performance Student, University of Waterloo – To contact the author please direct any questions or comments to: fhinds@uwaterloo.ca

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Programme Director, Social Media for Business Performance.

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