Jeff Davis, president and CEO of OraBrush Inc., came to Weber State University on Thursday, Sept. 8 as part of the Nye Executive Lecture series and told students the story of his company. OraBrush and its product are moving forward at the “speed of darkness,” as the company’s iPad 2 parody on YouTube suggests.
Davis explained that being a CEO in today’s world requires a level of background, study and real-time change that is unprecedented for any time that a CEO has ever had to run a company. Leaders in the company need to know technical information about the platforms of social media, marketing, finance, supply chain complexities and more.
“I believe the executive suite, or the senior roles in a company of the future, will belong to what I call hybrids,” Davis said, who has been with OraBrush since January 2010.
“They are people that are not singularly educated with one area of expertise.”
OraBrush is the first company to start from scratch to reach global awareness in more than 114 countries, purchasing online more than 50 retailers in nine countries and establishing more than 20,000 stores by only using social media. OraBrush launched its YouTube campaign in August of 2009 with their first commercial, the Bad Breath Test. The commercial was shot at a pool hall in Provo, Utah. The Bad Breath Test now has more than 20 million views on YouTube, and the OraBrush channel is approaching 50 million views.
Despite the fact that OraBrush uses no other marketing tool than social media, it has proven to be competitive with Proctor & Gamble and even Apple. OraBrush is the third- most subscribed-to sponsored channel on YouTube, Proctor & Gamble being first and Apple second.
“You would know the top 10; you just wouldn’t know OraBrush,” Davis said.
Davis credits the company’s success to reverse marketing. Davis explained OraBrush’s reverse marketing model to students. In essence, reverse marketing starts with the creation of consumer awareness through social media to secure retail distribution. OraBrush created so much demand in social media and online purchasing that retailers started asking for the product. OraBrush now has national distribution in Walmart and CVS Pharmacies, plus distribution in eight other countries.
OraBrush is turning over new leaves in packaging as well. It is the first product to display ‘As Seen on YouTube’ on its packaging. Consumers can easily make the social media connection, since in-store displays have OraBrush YouTube productions on exhibition next to the product.
“The biggest story about OraBrush is that it is a disruptive company in how innovative products go to market in the consumer-packaged goods space,” Davis said. “OraBrush went directly to consumers in a very inexpensive way, in record timing, at the lowest costs, with some of the highest levels of awareness that I’ve ever seen, and I worked for P&G for 23 years.”