Ohio University Strategic Social Media

Crowdsourced Learning Lab #ouj4530

Tag: #SocialMediaCampaign

Squatty Potty: Sounds Like Crap, But Is a Huge Social Win

Picture this: A prince and his soft-serve pooping unicorn talking to you about the benefits of pooping in a squatting position as opposed to a sitting position. Slightly bizarre, right? Well, it’s real and I can guarantee if you have not seen it yet, you will probably see this video floating around on your Facebook page or your Twitter feed sometime soon. If not, here is the infomercial before we get any further to make sure we are on the same page.

Video courtesy of youtube.com

Also, here is a link to an article that takes you through the commercial very quickly, courtesy of dailymail.co.uk.

The Squatty Potty was actually created in 2011 by Bobby Edwards and his mother Judy Edwards, according to Bloomberg.com. They read multiple studies from doctors that said it was more beneficial for someone to poop in a squatting position than to poop in a sitting position. Sales weren’t the greatest for the first couple of years, only selling a couple million total, so in 2014, Mr. Edwards took the invention to ABC’s “Shark Tank” where he was backed with $350,000 to help with his future endeavors. The Squatty Potty also made a guest appearance on the Dr. Oz show at one point, as well . But, this wasn’t enough to boost their sales, so the “Squatty Potty squad” took their product to the Harmon Brothers, who are notorious for creating bizarre, yet effective advertisements, and thus, the Squatty Potty prince and pooping unicorn were born. The Harmon Brothers are famous for creating yet another poop related ad, “Poo-Pouri.” They are, apparently, really good at what they poo…I mean, do (do).

Within nine days of its release, the Squatty Potty’s commercial was a smashing hit; beyond 39 million views on all kinds of platforms on the web, to be exact. This number is growing as an increased amount of people, to this day, continue to see this ad on YouTube or their Facebook feeds, etc. Currently, in February 2016, the YouTube video has over 16 million views and its Facebook video has nearly 50 million views. This increased the Squatty Potty’s sales over 600% online and over 400% in their primary retail store, Bed, Bath, & Beyond, according to an interview conducted by adweek.com. It also received a number of reviews from consumers of all sorts. For example, YourGuitarSage commented on the YouTube video and said, “I bought a squatty-potty.  I LOVE it!  BUT, I don’t have rainbow poop like the ad says and am quite dissappointed.  Please advise…,” to Facebook comments that say “they got this gift for Christmas this past year and they have had the best poops of their lives!” Even tweets, like the one below, show their support.

 

With all of this being said, the Squatty Potty is, undoubtedly, a social win for the dream that Bobby and Judy Edwards had. It took some time, but with the strategic plan that they and the Harmon Brothers created in distributing the ad for this product was marketing gold. It appears, after reading hundreds of comments on Facebook, YouTube, and various social media sites alike, people cannot get enough of the watching the most bizarre things that are out there. Let alone, the most bizarre things talking about poop. This was a great mix of humor and actual facts to get the message that the Squatty Potty stands for across. To continue to increase their sales, they should continue to make videos like this because consumers know this infomercial with this product and they will continue to watch these videos and buy the product. The bizarre-ness and the uniqueness of this advertisement keeps consumers engaged and laughing, which is always great when trying to boost sales, or so their boost in sales demonstrates.

What’s next for the Squatty Potty? Well, I look forward to finding out.

References

Dicker, R. (2015, October 23). Squatty potty brothers find gold in unicorn poop. Huffingtonpost.  Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/brother-find-gold-in-unicorn-poop_us_5629389fe4b0aac0b8fc2d8e

Grobart, S. (2015, December 22). The cult of the squatty potty. Bloomsberg Businessweek. Retrieved from http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-22/the-cult-of-the-squatty-potty

NG, A. (2015, November 26). Video: viral “squatty potty” ad features unicorn pooping rainbow ice cream. NY Daily News. Retrieved from http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/video-viral-ad-features-unicorn-pooping-ice-cream-article-1.2447819

Polden, J. (2015, October 9). Will you be buying the squatty potty? Company reveal toilet aid in bizarre video featuring a prince and a unicorn with over-active bowels. Dailymail. Retrieved from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3266311/Will-buying-Squatty-Potty-Company-reveal-toilet-aid-bizarre-video-featuring-prince-unicorn-active-bowels.html

Stanley, T.L. (2015, December 10). Squatty potty’s ceo ignored everyone, made an insane video and boosted sales 600% bold marketing helps bring in $15 million. Adweek. Retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/squatty-pottys-ceo-ignored-everyone-made-insane-video-and-boosted-sales-600-168526

YourGuitarSage. (2015, December).  This unicorn changed the way i poop – #squattypotty. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbYWhdLO43Q

 

Sea World Fails Miserably with #AskSeaWorld Campaign

By Mira Kuhar

In the midst of mixed feelings about their company following the uproar of the “Blackfish” documentary, SeaWorld decided that creating some transparency in their company would help their brand’s image. Their idea of a solution came at the end of last March when they launched their “#AskSeaWorld” campaign.

The company spent millions on this campaign that consisted of a simple hashtag: #AskSeaWorld. SeaWorld encouraged consumers to Tweet them questions from all social media platforms using the tag in the hopes that they could show consumers that orcas live just as long in captivity as they do in the wild (NY Post). Sea World’s plan was to compile the questions onto their Sea World Cares site for public consumption (CNN). The outcome of this idea, however, didn’t go over like they had hoped.

People started immediately responding to the campaign and spreading the hashtag, however it was not necessarily done in a positive light. Angry consumers took this as an opportunity to grill the company on the well being of their animals. They also brought up issues with the idea of the park and many other overall negative comments about the way the company is ran (Ad Week).

At first, SeaWorld ignored the hashtag misusers and proceeded with the campaign as they hoped it would turn out. However eventually, the company got frustrated with how it was playing out, and began to post comments on their Twitter warding off those not taking it seriously. Some these comments included Tweets such as how they had “a lot of trolls and bots to sort through” and how “jacking hashtags is so 2014” (Huffington Post).

As a result of this entire campaign, and especially calling out the trolls and bots that were taking over the hashtag, SeaWorld garnered even more negative attention to themselves (Social Media Week). Their hope of taking transparency and turning it into a positive effort failed, just like it has for many companies. I think that this is exactly why it is a social fail; when you give consumers the right to openly ask questions on a public forum during a negative time, it’ll only make the problem worse.

In my opinion, there are a few things SeaWorld could have changed to make this campaign more beneficial to their company. First, giving consumers full reign to ask whatever they want in a public forum was the wrong approach. When your company is already seen in a negative light, this can only make the problem worse by publicizing the issues. Instead of conducting this on social media, they should have created a private forum to submit these questions. This would have taken away the public nature of the questions and kept the negative comments from snowballing.

Another thing they could have done was created a campaign centered around the idea of people having fun at SeaWorld. The problem with their brand is the image that people have of it. Having consumers post pictures of themselves having fun at SeaWorld over the years, and really publicizing the photos that show healthy, happy animals could have been a better approach to get people to see the park in a better light.

Overall, this campaign was a complete Social Fail, and other companies should use this case study as an example of what not to do in a time of crisis. Fixing a brand’s image isn’t always easy, but when it’s done in a well thought out way, it could help change consumers opinions a little bit at a time.

References:

#AskSeaWorld Reputation Campaign Fails Miserably. (n.d.). Retrieved February 08, 2016, from http://www.adweek.com/prnewser/askseaworld-reputation-campaign-fails-miserably/111686

‘Ask SeaWorld’ campaign fails to stop attendance from sinking. (2015). Retrieved February 08, 2016, from http://nypost.com/2015/08/06/new-ad-campaign-fails-to-stop-seaworlds-sinking-attendance/

‘Ask SeaWorld’ marketing campaign backfires. Retrieved February 08, 2016, from http://money.cnn.com/2015/03/27/news/companies/ask-seaworld-twitter/

Sola, K. (n.d.). #AskSeaWorld Twitter Campaign Pretty Much Goes How You’d Expect. Retrieved February 08, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/27/seaworld-twitter-fail_n_6950902.html

The Top 10 Most Embarrassing Social Media Fails From 2015 – Social Media Week. (2016). Retrieved February 08, 2016, from http://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2016/01/most-embarrasing-social-media-fails-2015/