How One Small Business Used YouTube to Land Shelf Space at Wal-Mart

Having a YouTube video go viral is the ultimate goal for most corporate marketers, but the majority of videos never achieve the wild success and fanfare that the Old Spice Guy campaign generated.  While big brand videos, like Toyota’s Swagger Wagon commercial, usually leave you with that “awkward” feeling, what about videos made by small business owners?  Dr. Robert Wagstaff (“Dr. Bob”) will be the first to tell small business owners that there’s a potential goldmine available to them on YouTube.

After inventing Orabrush, an advanced and patented tongue cleaner, Wagstaff spent $40,000 on a TV infomercial in 2008 that produced lackluster sales.  Failing to drum up any interest from national retailers in carrying Orabrush, he approached marketing students at Brigham Young University to help him figure out how to market his product.  After doing research on the tongue brush market online, the marketing students concluded that 92% of people would not be interested in buying this sort of product online.  One student, Jeffrey Harmon, went against his classmates’ consensus and suggested that Dr. Bob create a YouTube video to target the 8% of the people that would.

The simple, but funny video cost just a few hundred dollars to make and soon went viral, driving sales for Orabrush and earning Harmon a job as Chief Marketing Officer.  Wagstaff and Harmon decided to go all in with their marketing efforts on YouTube, producing 88 comedy shorts which have been viewed a mind-boggling 39 million times.  With its 160,000 subscribers, the Orabrush YouTube channel is the third most popular YouTube channel behind Old Spice and Apple.  After sales of $2 million in 2010, Orabrush is on pace to post sales of $10 million in 2011, which shouldn’t be too hard to accomplish now that Orabrush will be carried in 3,500 of Wal-Mart’s 3,800 U.S. stores.  Now that’s a breath of fresh air!

Read more at The Wall Street Journal >>

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About The Author

Philip Nowak is the founder of Firmology, technology focused news and insight for small businesses and online startups. He honed his entrepreneurial chops while working for his family’s Chicago-based window manufacturing business. Philip graduated from Indiana University with a BA in Economics.