FROM WALL STREET JOURNAL – February 25, 2013, 11:00 AM ET
By Timothy Hay
Is Orabrush a small-town company that makes tongue scrapers, or a digital marketing guru that has blazed new trails in e-commerce brand-building?
The company says it is both, and this week will extend its strange business model even further with the launch of a new product–and accompanying YouTube channel–aimed at ameliorating dogs’ stinky breath.
If the new channel, Orapup, performs like the company’s first YouTube endeavor, it will prove that big budgets and high-production values are sometimes no match for a few creative people sitting around together in a room–even if that room is in Provo, Utah, a town known less for tinseltown glamor than for Brigham Young University and a Mormon missionary-training center.
That channel, used to promote the company’s tongue scrapers for human, easily brushed past sponsored channels created by Apple, Walt Disney and other household names, and now boasts some 53 million views.
The efforts of the small company’s marketing department–later augmented by reams of user-submitted videos–pushed sales of the tongue scraper for humans through the roof, he added.
Now Orabrush has developed a tongue scraper for dogs, and has asked its marketing department–12 or so people who are 30 and under–to once again work that magic.
The dog-related tongue-scraping channel has been up for a few months, and the early signs are encouraging, the CEO said.
The Orapup tongue scraper is designed in such a way that the pet owner merely holds it out, and the dog cleans its own tongue by thoroughly licking the gadget. The set-up has opened the gate to a practically unlimited number of cute videos that can be uploaded by the company or the users.
“We use a reverse-marketing model. We create awareness online, then think about distribution second,” Davis said, adding that this week the company will begin distributing.
At the company–which is one part tongue-scraper design company, one part indie film studio–optimism about the new venture is running high.
“Pet owners are awesome,” the CEO said.
Write to Timothy Hay at firstname.lastname@example.org