The B2C industry is filled with trillions of diverse products meant for diverse customers across the globe. Few ever successfully become so popular that they become a household name, or essentially become synonymous with the general product category like Kleenex has for “tissues.”
Squatty Potty has someone done exactly that, however. They did have an early appearance on Shark Tank to help garner some initial momentum, but it was a single iconic video ad campaign that was both hilarious and informative and so uniquely branded that made this product so incredibly well-known.
In this brand video breakdown, we’re going to take a look at how Squatty Potty marketing achieved success with that iconic and viral campaign, and how other brands can replicate this strategy for themselves.
The Brand: Squatty Potty
Squatty Potty was formed nine years ago, but had a major breakthrough in success in the last few years.
The company was created when one family member kept experiencing repeated (and uncomfortable) constipation. Two other family members talked to a doctor, and realized that squatting is more effective as a pooping habit than sitting with your feet flat on the floor, so they created “the original toilet stool.”
Though this could be treated like a medical product, the brand is fun, whimsical, and humorous. They’ve got tabs on their site like “pooping 101” and make use of bright colors and fun imagery. This came into play when they created their now-iconic commercial.
The Strategy from Squatty Potty Marketing
Squatty Potty marketing did a lot right. They worked hard to create a brand that felt fun, quirky, and unique, even when they could have steered into a much more generic box. This was a great choice, because it really helped them stand out.
While they did get a great boost of attention thanks to their appearance on the popular show Shark Tank, it was their now-famous commercial series that helped them rocket to some level of household-level fame.
You can see this commercial here:
Within the video, there is a unicorn and a prince. The unicorn is shown squatting and pooping out rainbow-colored icecream into a cone with ease. The prince informs us how “improper toilet posture” can cause problems, and the video shows how the squatty potty lines up for correct use.
Part of the reason this is so well done is that it takes something that people may be uncomfortable with (bowel movements) and uses humor, outrageous characters, and non-graphic demonstrations to get their point across. It’s also entertaining, which makes it memorable and encourages shares on social. This has turned an otherwise “boring” or “embarrassing” product centered around constipation into a commonly-known and even well-discussed item.
What Other Brands Can Learn
We’re wagering a bet that the majority of people reading this post are not trying to sell a small toilet stool designed to reduce constipation. (I know, I know, what a risky gamble).
That being said, there’s still a lot to learn here about Squatty Potty’s use of branding and video marketing, and how they worked so cohesively together.
This video exemplifies how you can use humor even for products of in industries that customers may not expect to see it. As long as you aren’t crossing any lines and you make sure that it’s coming across well to your target audience, there’s no reason not to use humor and vibrant, memorable imagery to make your point.
It also is a good motivator to get creative. Most people don’t want to see even a cartoon depiction of a person on a toilet while pooping; that’s just too much. A unicorn puppet squatting and producing rainbow ice cream, on the other hand? It’s bizarre but doesn’t elicit the same “ew gross” reactions, and it definitely meets most ad platform’s advertising guidelines.
Keep in mind that the video from Squatty Potty was basically a really creative, heavily branded explainer video. It’s demonstrating the product use, but the commercial feels so fun and entertaining that it doesn’t feel like a chore to watch it.
How to Adapt This Strategy for Yourself
Not all brands are a great fit to use unicorns or princes or downright ridiculous premises for their video campaigns.
That’s okay. The point here isn’t that you need truly outlandish characters, though that can absolutely work (see Purple mattress videos as another example). Instead, it’s about creating video content that your audience will respond to and that does feel true to your brand while showcasing exactly how the product or service works.
Start out by considering what appeals your audience will respond to. Do they want a visual demonstration of the product in use? A hilarious exaggeration of the problem that your product can solve? A video tutorial showing how to use it, or a product video highlighting its potential?
Think about what content would be most effective, and then decide how you can use unique messaging that aligns with your brand to create a killer video series.
Squatty Potty truly is a one-of-a-kind brand, even though it’s no longer a one-of-a-kind-product. That being said, even with competitors out there offering similar products, they’re the brand that stands out and drives the most sales.
Their iconic ad campaign that aligned so closely with a fun, intriguing brand was a key part of this. I still remember seeing the ad campaigns shared by multiple friends on my timeline, thinking it was both hilarious and useful at the same time.
Remember that as long as your video campaigns are audience-centered and aligned with your brand, you’ll be in good shape to create a home-run campaign that will drive results and brand awareness.