Advertisement Goes Viral on Youtube

September 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

How powerful are social networks for promotion? Check this out: “Orabrush has sold $1 million worth of the $5 tongue brushes through YouTube, and major drugstores are beginning to stock it on their shelves. And in February, its maker — a tiny company in Provo, Utah — lured a former Procter & executive to become its chief executive.”

“Orabrush’s YouTube channel, Curebadbreath, has been viewed 24 million times. Almost 40,000 people have subscribed to get e-mail updates every time Orabrush posts a new video, making it the seventh most-subscribed channel, ahead of brands like Disney, BMW and Nintendo Wii.” (from NYT)

Behold, the age of distrust of the Internet has ended. And in comes the era that meaningful relationship can be established online, be it online dating, e-shopping or building customer loyalty via social networks.

This is a marketing model that almost every small business can afford. No big budget, no fancy campaign designs. It’s all about building connections and interaction with viewers.

Interaction is the number one element that advertisers should think about. Different from the role of traditional ads as an one-way outlet, shouting empty slogans, feeding product info to impatient viewers hoping to get a favorable impression, the Youtube advertisement model is more of a two-way interaction process in which customers get to participate and enjoy getting to know a product.

Unlike a lightning-in-a-bottle, the whole go-viral process takes more time, noted Jim Louderback, chief executive of Revision3, an Internet television company.

Each week Orabrush Youtube channel brings a new installment of “Diaries of a Dirty Tongue,” in which a grotesque giant tongue named Morgan shares his miserable life with the audience. Besides the funny clips of Morgan, there are also Orabrush commercial and how-to videos and consumers‘ review.

In July, the Orabrush team brought their quirky humor to an online video conference and left free tongue brushes in the hotel rooms of attendees, many of whom are Youtube celebrities. Since then, dozens of its YouTube comrades have made their own promotional videos for Orabrush (Some were paid and others are voluntary).

“What they did was really smart, to get your product endorsed by these alpha dogs of the community you identify with,” Mr. Loudberback said.

YouTube videos reverse the big companies’ marketing equations, said Jeff Davis, Orabrush’s chief executive and a 23-year P.& G. veteran. In this instance, the entire product is launched on social networks like Youtube and Facebook, while the archetypical advertisement follows the track of idea, prototype, market test, product, retailer and distribution, and then marketing.

Compared to other video commercials, videos on Youtube tends to have a natural advantage of getting people’s undivided attention, for they are longer, more relaxing to watch and with less overloaded information. Also, viewers are more likely to finish the video because they click on the video by choice and there is always the expectation of seeing something really funny in the end. Whereas in TV commercials, viewers are more inclined to get a quick bite or change the channel instead.

Orabrush is not the only product Youtube has seen go viral and become a success. Original Skateboards, shows skateboard videos that demonstrate  all the features their skateboard has and could actually Wow the audience. Blendtec, the blender-making company, offers video showing off their powerful machine by blending unusual things that don’t normally fit into an ordinary blender, like golf balls, an iPad, or World Cup vuvuzela. Dynomighty marketed many of its clever designs on YouTube and attracted more than 7 million pair of curious eyeballs.


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