The Squatty Potty was founded and created by the Edwards family and operated out of Saint-George, Utah. After having some colon issues of their own, the family created the Squatty Potty and felt that it was a good idea to share this creation with everyone, promoting an inexpensive colon health solution. The ad agency behind their famous unicorn commercial is the Harmon Brothers. The Harmon Brothers also created the commercial for Poo Pourri which only ran for a few months but had major increases in web traffic and product sales. The Harmon Brothers are known for their comedy style commercials making an awkward subject such as pooping easy to listen to and talk about.
The goal of their social media campaign was to use comedy to promote a different but healthy way of pooping that we aren’t currently doing as a culture and society. So the Squatty Potty commercial was provided to the public via YouTube on October 6th, 2015. This is a fairly new campaign but the product itself had been selling quite well on Amazon and when featured on the ABC show Shark Tank, the sharks were relatively surprised that their sale numbers were as good as they were.
The Squatty Potty campaign wasn’t exclusive to a particular social media outlet. They really used all social media channels available to them which include:
Their unicorn commercial was originally aired on Youtube but became quickly viral thanks to the other social media channels. On Youtube alone the ad has 5,663,676 views which makes it the 4th most watched ad on YouTube according to ADWEEK.
In 2012, Squatty Potty’s Facebook page had reached 2000 likes, as of November 13th, 2015 they currently have 74,570 likes of their page, which is a 5% increase from last week.
Looking at the image above, the graph shows over a week the increase/decrease of new page likes and when this image was taken the current week seems to be on a downhill decline. One could assume that this campaign is slowly but surely losing it’s steam and is relatively close to ending this campaign.
So the way this campaign was used on Facebook was it was essentially a dumping ground for fans and admins of the page to post memes about unicorns, poop, and anything else related to that subject. There is no real promotion other that the block ads on the side of your news feed. Being like most people I tend to ignore the block and banner ads that show up on Facebook so this didn’t seem very effective. Twitter was very similar in the sense of how it was used the only addition was that they took the time to personally respond to tweets posted by fans and followers.
Looking at the screenshots above, Squatty Potty is really on top of staying in communication and sending out real tweets to individuals who tweet them. This will increase the companies strength, reach, passion, and sentiment and how people will view the company
So a big strength of this campaign was before the original commercial came out on YouTube. Squatty Potty made its first national appearance on Shark Tank with a bunch of big name celebrities such as Howard Stern, Dr. Oz backing this product.
They also provided a list of trusted companies such as:
- Men’s Health
- The Washington Post
- The Huffington Post
- The Doctors
The list goes on but by having these big names backing the product it allows interest and a level of affinity to grow between the company and consumer. With all these big names talking about the Squatty Potty, the reach of this campaign is about 62% according to Social Mention.
With the comedic style of their commercial and by posting it on YouTube compared to television, the video is much easier to access and share with others. By having a video that has gone viral the Squatty Potty strength of being talked about throughout social media is at 61%. The passion about the Squatty Potty isn’t as high though as it’s strength, totaling about 24% that people will mention the product and do so repeatedly; Now this may be because so many different people are talking about the squatty which will lower the total percentage but it is a product that revolves around a topic that people don’t like to talk about. Squatty Potty has a fairly good sentiment ratio of 2:1 positive to negative feedback of this product.
This campaign didn’t have any major weakness as a whole, and any weaknesses it did have could have been easily fixed. Squatty Potty could have promoted a side campaign to customize the look of your own Squatty Potty. Just like Howard Stern’s “The Stern Movement” a side campaign published on Facebook and Twitter seems like a missed opportunity. Another weakness of this campaign is that Squatty Potty has only one commercial and towards the end it begins to drag on and become borderline creepy. With the addition of possibly more health based commercials or even equally as funny just shorter commercials. By posting these on YouTube, Facebook, or even streaming sites such as Hulu would have promoted the brand even more. The biggest weakness of this campaign is promoting a product that is involved with something that is easy to poke fun at. So most of the post on Facebook and Twitter were unrelated memes and jokes that were irrelevant to the brand’s mission. If someone who had zero previous knowledge of this product and saw these memes, their first impression could have a negative, pushing them away from possibly sharing and buy the product.
There are many opportunities that Squatty Potty could still take advantage of that could help provide a new spark to the campaign and possibly gain a new crop of fans and followers. Like stated earlier being able to customize your own Squatty Potty and then posting it on Facebook or Twitter could give this campaign new life. Similar to what BMW did with their 1 series campaign of designing your own car, fans would be able to choose the color and create designs of their own via photoshop or for the fans who aren’t skilled in photoshop could be provided with stock designs and colors. If Squatty Potty provided custom squatty potties but the only way you could receive one is by submitting through their personal pages on social media.
Another opportunity that Squatty Potty could try is by creating more live action ads to be promoted through YouTube or streaming sites such as Hulu or Twitch. Looking at the original commercial, it begins to drag on towards the end and shows some unnecessary footage of children eating “unicorn poop”. This is the instance where for me it wasn’t funny but just awkward. So if new commercials were to be made, shorter in length would avoid that period of awkwardness that the original hit created. Keeping the commercials with a sense of humor is great but having a commercial with a more serious tone and a more health benefits approach would target a demographic that may take the brand and product more seriously.
Threats to this campaign consist of the multitude of memes generated by this campaign’s commercial. Over time and currently now viewers find the commercial more as a joke than a commercial trying to promote health benefits.
This is funny and great, but the longer it last the less likely your brand will be taken seriously and trying to do future campaign will yield less favorable metrics. Another threat to this campaign is that they boast about the 2000 Amazon shoppers who left 5 star reviews. Those can be easily made or boosted by creating fake accounts. I don’t believe this family run business would try this but it’s a possible speculation.
There isn’t really any product like the squatty potty for it to compete with. But plenty of people are figuring out that they can make their own stool that works just as well.
Will it continue?
It’s hard to see this campaign lasting much longer. With only one commercial and ads on social media being their only real way of promoting their brand, it appears that this is a flash in the pan campaign and unless there is some sort of innovating idea coming from marketing, personal responses to tweets will not carry the campaign. In trying to stay relevant the Squatty Potty could post on all social media so quirky or catchy posts that include images or short videos such as vines. This would freshen things up and repeatedly bring them into the picture. Being a niche product allows them to not be competitive but in the same light that takes away the innovative drive allows for campaigns to grow.
Was it successful?
I would consider this campaign an overall success. Before their appearance on Shark Tank, Squatty Potty was only being sold on Amazon and their personal website. Now squatty potties are sold in major retail stores along with online stores. Their Facebook page was launched in 2011 and by 2012 had only 2,000 likes. That number since has been increased to roughly 75,000 likes due to Shark Tank, it’s commercial, and numerous mentions via sponsors such as Howard Stern, Men’s Health, Dr. Oz, etc… Squatty Potty nor the Harmon Brothers have released activity, interaction, and return metrics but by looking at how quickly their commercial went viral and their social media following surged in the course of a month, it’s safe to assume that the numbers are good. This brand has high activity by currently tweeting back fans and followers and encouraging photos of users with the product(s) and images related to their commercial. Through this, they have created a fairly positive attitude towards the brand although a majority finds the brand as neutral in terms of attitude. Using comedic approach for their commercial, Squatty Potty has a promotion that went viral, is family friendly, and comes with a load of recommendations from big name companies and high profile public figures. This campaign is just a little over a month old so it is hard to predict the final outcome of this campaign; not having an exact termination date and being so young it is hard to collect accurate metrics that will provide a meaningful data. But for as much as we can look at right now, it’s hard not to call the the Squatty Potty campaign a success.
Harmon Brothers (Harmon Brothers)
About Squatty Pottys (About Squatty Pottys)
he 10 Most Watched Ads on YouTube in October (AdWeek)