Author Archive

How Orabrush Goes Viral

December 16, 2010 Leave a comment

We have been talking about reaching the right people in the right places at the right time. The story is an example of using the right medium to reach the right people. In 2009, Orabrush has launched the tongue cleaner for about a decade, but the sales of the five-dollar-tongue-cleaner were still crawling. Orabrush only sold less than 100 units in the past decade.

The concept of bad breath coming from tongues has been a well known knowledge of Chinese medicine (At least my mother has been telling me that I should clean my tongue for years). You can find tongue brush and even “tonguepaste” in Japan and Taiwan. However, this is a fairly new concept in the U.S. Robert Wagstaff, the inventor of Orabrush tongue cleaner, faced difficulties on selling the product to retailers such as Walmart and CVS because they thought the sales of the product was unpredictable. Therefore, Robert Wagstaff spent $50,000 on marketing the product with an infomercial but the effort was wasted.

Wagstaff then turned to marketing professionals’ help. The graduate marketing class at Brigham Young University offers companies the chance to let students perform a case study for them for about $1,500. The students studying the case found that 92 percent of the retail market were reluctant to buy the product. At the desperate moment, Jeffrey Harmon, then the 26-year-old student, proposed to Wagstaff that he thought Orabrush may have better chances online and he could help sell the product online.

Harmon was trying to figure out how to sell Orabrush using Facebook, and then he posted a video on how to tell if you had bad breath. It was based on a generic video he found on YouTube, which he had gotten permission to use from its creators. “It boosted our conversion rates by three times,” Harmon says. “If people know how to tell if they have bad breath, they’re a lot more likely to buy the product.” The video inspired Harmon to produce an Orabrush video that taught people how to tell if they had bad breath and how Orabrush could help them solve the problem. He and his brother than produced a Youtube video that cost them less than $500 dollars.

The first video was aimed to both educate and entertain. It showed viewers how to use a spoon to determine if they had bad breath. According to Harmon, if you ask people how to tell if you have bad breath and almost no one knows the answer. Harmon started out on Youtube with the tight marketing budget and keep investing in the Youtube viral video campaign.

In five weeks, Orabrush sold out 10,000 units. Since the campaign launched in 2009,according to the report, “ the Orabrush YouTube channel has garnered more than 24 million views and 250,000 fans on Facebook.In addition, Online alone, the company has passed $1 million in sales.”Magstaff also got requests from retailers and distributors in more than 40 countries.

The secret of the campaign’s success was result from Harmon’s insight of consumer behavior. He figured out that people didn’t really know what causes bad breath, even though studies show that 90 percent of bad breath comes from the tongue. “One of the great things about Orabrush, is that we know we’re expanding the category,” says Harmon, who now serves as Orabrush’s chief marketing officer. They did a survey and found that 8 out of 10 people who bought Orabrush have never used a tongue cleaner before. To continue the success, Wagstaff and his marketing team understood that create a steady stream of viral content will gain them loyal followers on Youtube. They now have new video every week on their Youtube channel.

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My Facebook Book!

December 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Facebook is ubiquitous. We use Facebook everyday,update our profiles, upload photos, ask others to go out…etc. However, we forget our favorite moments we share on the wall day after day. Inspired by this fact, the creative director Siavosh Zabeti from the ad agency DDB, created an app that keep our facebook in a book, for his client French telecommunications company Bouygues Telecom to launch the company’s Facebook platform.

When Facebook Become a Book. Siavosh Zabeti


According to Foxnews, Zabeti said he wanted to bring permanence to social networking. He and his team look into how people use the social network site, and came up with the idea. He explained that, people do so manything on the social network, but people forget about it easily. (It is so true! I can not even remember what I wrote on the wall two weeks ago.)

Therefore, instead of creating something that would only last two weeks, he wanted to create something that would allow people to sustain the memories. Zabeti said, “We wanted to create something that you could put on your coffee table and would last forever.”


When Facebook Become a Book. Siavosh Zabeti


I found it interseting because we know that, we have to understand how the customers use our products or services. While Zabeti and his team, investgating how people use the medium to engage consumers .

So how does the Facebook Book app work?

The application allows Facebook you to choose up to 10 friends to include in the book and the timeline they would like it to cover– you can also choose to get rid of the embarrassing photos you don’t want to be remembered.

Next, the app will collect your facebook content including photos, status updates and comments from your newsfeed and compiles them into a hardcover book. The book cover is colored of Facebook signature shade of blue with your name and the count of your status and photos.


When Facebook Become a Book. Siavosh Zabeti


The first batch of books sold out within an hour of the application’s launch, according to Zabeti. And at first, the books were shipped free only within France.Zabeti may soon need to broaden his horizons because it has gotten attentions from facebook users in other countries.

It may be a great event for launching Bouygues Telecom’s facebook page and generate discussion on the new page. Although the campaign is beautifully designed, I am curious about how the campaign will really benefit the advertiser.Will consumers really remember and recall that the Facebook book is from Bouygues Telecom, and associate them right away?

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Pair Movie: Japanese Interactive Mobile Marketing

November 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Consuming music via mobile videos has been one of the most popular ways among Japanese young folks. Japanese singer/songwriter JuJu released her album “What’s Love” in early 2009.

The record label Sony, in order to target Japanese females in their teens and twenties, adopted streamed music videos to promoted one of the songs in the album,  “素直になれたら” (Wish I Could Be True To Myself) heavily through mobile.

Advertising agency Dentsu planned to promote the music video by adopting the technology “Pair Movie”, developed by Mobile Art Lab, to create buzz among the female peers.

The music video was produced in a concept of Japanese romance drama and broken into a series of five 90-second episodes which could be streamed for free from the campaign site.

So how does Pair Movie work?

First you had to invite your friend to download the video via taking photo of the QR code. Each of you would be able to download a part (left and right) of the movie. Next, putting two mobile screens together, the music video was completed and become a larger and less degraded movie on mobile.

Demo and concept of Pair Movie can be seen here:

Mobile phone is personal. We text, call, and play games on the mobile. Pair Movie encouraged people to share mobile contents and to interact with others in person.

The result of the campaign was good. The music video was played 400,000 times in one month and was downloaded 20,000 times in its first week. The total downloads number was 2,200,000. It helped the sale of the song (More than 150,000 copies were sold) and  the song “素直になれたら” became JuJu’s biggest hit. This campaign also won the advertising agency Dentsu a Gold Lion award at the Cannes Advertising Festival.

Although Pair Movie seems to be a fun and innovative mobile advertising tool, the use of Pair Movie is somewhat limited. Your target must have the mobile phone that support QR code function and to download the QR code apps. Also, it will cost viewer twice to download the contents, which may make the viewers hesitate to download it.

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Got Wrinkles? Erase the Wrinkles on the iPhone!

October 7, 2010 Leave a comment

As we talked about rich media and the marketing metrix task we practiced (the age defying make-up collection) tonight, here is one example how the cosmetic advertiser promoted the anti-wrinkles product, gave out the message and engaged the consumers to accomplish a task on smartphone.

In order to promote its new Perfectionist [CP+] anti-wrinkle product, Estee Lauder hired Crisp Wireless to create an interactive ad for the iPhone and iPod Touch in this June. The rich media mobile ad campaign allowed users to play a game of erasing wrinkle lines within the ad. The campaign ran on a mobile entertainment and personalization destination, Myxer, in a top banner position on its mobile site.

Please see the demonstration video here:  Estee Lauder Erase the Wrinkles Campaign

The campaign banner could be expanded to full screen and viewers could tap to play the game.  Viewers erased the brow lines by rubbing their finger over the screen.The picture of the product next to the game presents the tagline “New Perfectionist [CP+] erases the look of deep wrinkles on contact” to the side.


Source: Mobile Marketer



Source: Mobile Marketer


Although it includes call to action phrases and messages on a landing page, do you think the messages in this rich media conveyed the unique benefits the product offered successfully?

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