We want to thank YouTube for leveling the playing field and making something like Orabrush possible
Dr. Bob Wagstaff (75 yr old inventor of the Orabrush) spent 8 years trying to bring Orabrush to market. He spent over $40k on an infomercial. It only sold about 100 orders. He approached Walmart, Walgreens, CVS and many others, but no one was interested in his tongue cleaner. He approached Oral-B and Colgate asking if they wanted to buy his patent. They were not interested.
In 2009, as a last ditch effort, Dr. Bob went to the Marriott School of Management at BYU and asked a market research class to see if they could come up with new ways to market the product online. The student group presented their findings and said: “92% of the people who would actually like to try Orabrush will not buy Orabrush on the internet. We suggest you drop the idea of marketing Orabrush on the Internet.” A student (Jeffrey Harmon) who was not a part of the project raised his hand and asked, “That means 8% probably will buy Orabrush. That is millions of people, why don’t you focus on them?” Dr. Bob approached Jeffrey after the class. He wanted to learn more about what Jeffrey had to say. Jeffrey said, “I love your product. I could sell Orabrush online.”
Dr Bob offered Jeffrey his old motorcycle (at 75 years old, Dr. Bob didn’t ride his Motorcycle much anymore) in return for helping market Orabrush. Jeffrey was thrilled and started working on Orabrush in the mornings and at nights before and after his full-time job.
Jeffrey noticed a guy on a team he managed at his full-time job, Austin Craig. Austin had just graduated in Broadcast Journalism and was working as an Intern. Jeffrey noticed that the other team members would provoke Austin into little rants about politics or other issues that Austin was passionate about. While Austin was ranting one day, another coworker leaned over and nudged Jeffrey and said, “I would pay money to watch Austin rant like this. It is the best part of my day.” That is when it clicked. Jeffrey asked Austin, “How much would I have to pay you to be in a video for me where you rant about bad breath?” Austin thought. “A hundred bucks.”
Jeffrey took his idea to his good friend, Joel Ackerman (a talented local script writer) and asked him if Joel could do some magic on this YouTube idea. As a favor for a friend, Joel quickly whipped out a clever script.
Austin, Jeffrey, Dr Bob, and Jeffrey’s old roommate Devin Graham (a film major) shot the first Orabrush movie in a pool club. Dr Bob held the mic while Austin acted, and Jeffrey did his best to direct his first video ever. If you listen closely you can hear pool balls cracking against each other during the video.
That video was a huge success, garnering millions of views, and bringing Orabrush to the attention of major distributors and retailers. From it’s invention in Dr. Bob’s basement workshop to retailers around the world, the success of the Orabrush was only possible when a few people believed in it, and YouTube opened the way.