by Emily Barber

Sometimes in marketing, you have to be fearless. When we are bombarded with content 24/7, ordinary ads just don’t stand out. Squatty Potty is a family-owned company that helps customers get the most out of their bathroom experience – literally. They capitalized on the idea of being fearless in October of 2015, when they released this video:

In the video, a unicorn effortlessly poops out ice cream with the help of a Squatty Potty, while his knightly friend narrates the experience. Hard to watch yet hilarious, the video quickly became a social win. At the time this blog was written, the video currently had 16, 456, 491 views on YouTube.

Squatty Potty got its start in November of 2014 when its creators appeared on Shark Tank. Lori Greiner, one of the ‘sharks,’ made a deal with the mother-and-son team that pitched Squatty Potty and got the business off the ground.

Fast-forward just under a year later to the “This Unicorn Changed the Way I Poop” campaign. The video was created by ad agency The Harmon Brothers, who have worked on other toilet-related products, such as Poo Pourri. Marketing these kinds of products can pose a challenge, because people don’t typically want to talk about what goes on in the bathroom. The Squatty Potty team needed a way to spread awareness of their product, which has been proven to have real health benefits. An out-of-the-box video was a perfect way to do that.

In just four months, the video had 1 million Facebook shares, online sales of the Squatty Potty increased by more than 600%, and retail saw a 400%+ increase. These numbers alone could prove why this campaign was a social win. The current trend in marketing is to create awesome content that people will pay attention to. This video definitely falls under that category. It got people talking about Squatty Potty and spread the name of the company, giving sales a massive boost in the process.

Another part of Squatty Potty’s success was allowing their voice to shine in both the video and subsequent promotions. This is not a simple task, as the nature of their products requires a unique voice. It’s definitely not easy to approach the subject of going to the bathroom. People barely talk about this with their friends and family, let alone hear it from a company. They found a great balance between silly, informational and entertaining.

To improve and capitalize on the campaign, I believe they could have done more with the unicorn and knight. A large part of Squatty Potty’s mission is to improve the health of their customers. Countless videos could have been made with the pair doing health Q&As, sharing tips for healthy digestion, or explaining more about the product. The original video has only been out for a few months, so Squatty Potty could very well be planning to use them more in the future. They often feature both on their Twitter and Instagram, which ensures the characters’ relevancy.

After first watching Squatty Potty’s video, I’ll admit I was a little grossed out. This is not a typical product, and it’s definitely not your typical form of advertising. But that’s why it works. People were intrigued and wanted to know more about this pooping unicorn and the company that made it. Squatty Potty took a chance with this video, and it most certainly paid off.

Bathroom before-and-after with Squatty Potty

Image courtesy of Squatty Potty

Sources

Barbuti, A. (2014, November 14). The Squatty Potty Enters the ‘Shark Tank’: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know. Retrieved from http://heavy.com/entertainment/2014/11/squatty-potty-poop-toilet-stool-shark-tank-products-season-6-100th-episode/

Dicker, R. (2015, October 23). Squatty Potty Brothers Find Gold In Unicorn Poop. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/brother-find-gold-in-unicorn-poop_us_5629389fe4b0aac0b8fc2d8e

Saxena, J. (2015, November 25). How a viral video of a unicorn is changing the way we poop. Retrieved from http://www.dailydot.com/lifestyle/squatty-potty-ad-viral/

Stanley, T.L. (2015, October 7). Here’s the Best Ad You’ll See Today With a Unicorn Who Poops Rainbow Soft-Serve. Retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/heres-best-ad-youll-see-today-unicorn-who-poops-rainbow-soft-serve-167404

Stanley, T.L. (2015, December 10). Squatty Potty’s CEO Ignored Everyone, Made an Insane Video and Boosted Sales 600%. Retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/squatty-pottys-ceo-ignored-everyone-made-insane-video-and-boosted-sales-600-168526