How do you take something as unsexy as a gadget that scrapes the tongue to prevent bad breath and popularize the brand? Why, you create a funny YouTube video of course. Current Orabrush episodes running online keep viewers tuning in, and some of them are actually purchasing the product. Go YouTube!

At SES San Francisco, Baljeet Singh, Senior Product Manager of YouTube and the Google Content Network, told the story of Orabrush, a small business that had used Promoted Videos to promote its product and drive engaged YouTube audiences to both its videos and its website.

Yesterday, Claire Cain Miller of The New York Times, wrote an article entitled, “To Fix Bad Breath, a Gadget Seen on YouTube.” It updates the Orabrush story — and provides a powerful punchline: Funny YouTube videos have helped the small business make a million dollars in one year.

First, the backstory.

After a series of unsuccessful TV commercials, the bacteria fighting company OraBrush turned to YouTube to help promote their more light-hearted approach to curing bad breath. As CEO Jeffrey Harmon explained to the YouTube Biz Blog, “Previously, in an attempt to educate people on bad breath, we had tried a TV infomercial — it was a complete flop. As an experiment, we decided to create an ‘infomercial’ for YouTube. We had made a couple of videos that we could see were showing signs of going viral, so we decided to give them a jump-start with Promoted Videos.”

YouTube provided OraBrush with a low-cost way to help promote a product that required some education. Promoted Videos quickly helped their fun and quirky videos get off the ground, and they soon saw sales and video views soar. “Promoted Videos has worked better than any other ad platform we have used online,” said Harmon.

What do I mean by fun and quirky videos? Check out this one, which has almost 2.5 million views.
FUNNY: Test YOUR Breath–The Stench That Stole Christmas

Curebadbreath, the official YouTube channel of Orabrush, currently has almost 24.5 million views — making it the #10 most viewed all time in the Sponsor category.

Orabrush followed up the success of its initial campaign with Diaries of a Dirty Tongue, which features weekly appearances by a giant tongue named Morgan. According to Miller, “Orabrush has sold $1 million worth of the $5 tongue brushes through YouTube, and major drugstores are beginning to stock it on their shelves.”

The moral of this story: OraBrush’s campaign has been a success in large part because its infomercials are less like “ads” and more like popular YouTube videos that users discover, watch, and share.

Have any other small businesses experienced similar success?

In her article, Miller mentioned Blendtec and Dynomighty Design.

Earlier today, I embedded “Video marketing case studies with David Meerman Scott and Greg Jarboe,” which tells the Blendtec story.

And at SES New York 2010, I interviewed Terrence Kelleman, the President and Designer of Dynomighty Design. In case you missed it, check out the interview below.
Dynomighty YouTube video marketing case study

What do all three case studies have in common? They all feature small businesses that you are using YouTube to make the cash register ring.



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