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Published on Sep 20, 2011
http://orabrush.com Orabrush is the first product to go from no sales online or offline, to nationwide retail distribution just using YouTube.
When we started Orabrush a couple years ago, we assumed that Walmart would be the LAST store we would make it into. Surprisingly they were the most innovative of all National US chains. This is the story of how it happened.
Two years ago seventy five-year-old inventor Dr. Bob teamed up with some college students to try to figure out how to sell his tongue cleaner online. They figured out using YouTube how to effectively sell the Orabrush on the Internet.
We sold almost a million of these. But even after tens of thousands of comments on our YouTube channel asking if they could buy Orabrush in major stores, we were still having a hard time getting a hold of major retailers like Wal-Mart.
One of the Wal-Mart store managers had seen our videos, became familiar with Orabrush, ordered an Orabrush and used it for several months. After that he wanted to have Orabrush in his stores so he contacted us and said, "Hey, I'd love to carry your tongue cleaner in my store." Some Wal-Mart managers from other stores were going on a store tour and they went through his Wal-Mart, saw our display and were so impressed by just the display that they all wanted it as well.
So within about two or three weeks we had 20 Wal-Mart stores carrying Orabrush. The sales here in Utah were so good that we knew it was time to get in touch with Wal-Mart headquarters to do a broader launch outside of just this state to get it everywhere. We decided to do some advertising in magazines where we spent over $20,000 and it was just not successful at all. In addition to that we sent a video to the buyer at Wal-Mart headquarters designed specifically for Wal-Mart executives.
So on the DVD it was personalized and customized with their names. "Hi we're Orabrush. Here are our sales numbers from the test market in Utah." We had videos of customer reviews; we had our YouTube videos that we had put up. And we had a lot of mainstream media coverage and we included that as well. There was a lot going on that we wanted to make sure they knew about. So we sent them that DVD and we got their attention but we wanted to keep their attention while they were making the decision as to whether to pick up Orabrush for a national launch. So we tried some other different things.
Jeff Harmon, who is in charge of our marketing, decides we should do a Facebook ad and we should target it just at Wal-Mart employees right around Wal-Mart national headquarters. We created an ad that said that Wal-Mart employees have bad breath and they better start carrying the Orabrush in their stores. And within a couple days and just twenty-eight dollars an ad spend later, we got an email from them saying, "Okay we saw your ad. Very funny, you can stop running that ad now." Now they already knew about us; we were selling the brush in stores in Utah and having a lot of success and they had seen our DVD; but that Facebook ad kept their attention and let them know that we know what we're doing online and we can get this in front of people.
Wal-Mart was very interested in the sales of Orabrush, not necessarily in the YouTube advertisements that we were producing. But the sales were so good that they just couldn't say no. We've been contacted by a lot of other smaller retailers and we've learned that they always want to meet face to face. There's a lot of phone calls involved. Some of them want us to fax them information. Faxing! It's 2011!
So we were expecting when we were talking to Wal-Mart and messaging them, we were waiting for the email where they were going to say, "You know what? Why don't we meet face to face? Why don't you fly out here and we'll talk about this in person." And then one day we got an e-mail that said, "Can you support 735,000 Orabrushes by August?" Yeah we can handle that; sure we can support that. So they send us this request with no face-to-face meeting, no videoconference, not even any phone calls. This was all done through e-mail.
Two years ago we're selling the Orabrush out of a garage. Orabrush is the first company to go from nothing, from no distribution, to nationwide retail distribution using only YouTube. And we did it in the Oral hygiene category, which is kind of crazy because that category is dominated by a few big companies. It was Wal-Mart that gave their local managers the freedom to pick up local products and try them out and see how they do. And because of that, within a year we're in every Wal-Mart in the country.