Joel Ackerman, the recently appointed creative director at toothbrush company Orabrush, thinks most brands don’t get YouTube. He ought to know something on the subject. Ackerman has driven more than 50 million combined YouTube views for the brand’s channel, and some of his videos — like Orabrush’s “Bad Breath Test: How to Tell When Your Breath Stinks” — have reached more than 18 million views alone.
Digiday caught up with Ackerman to hear how Orabrush’s creative team works its YouTube magic, what brands are missing on the platform, and how brands should reframe their thinking around the platform.
What makes for a good video?
There’s not a formula or a silver bullet that you can follow. One of the things a lot of brands make the mistake of doing is looking at other successful stuff and trying to duplicate it or come up with the next hot video. People aren’t stupid. If a brand is trying to be ‘hip’ or trying to create a viral video, people can see through that, and it doesn’t work. Brands kill the entertainment value because it’s not authentic. Or it’s just a silly video or maybe it’s just a stunt for publicity — it might get a lot of views, but it didn’t do a lot for their brand.
What do you mean by being real, then?
Brands should acknowledge the fact that they’re brands. People know that you’re a brand. There’s nothing wrong with your product or talking about it. If you look at successful YouTube campaigns, a lot of brands talk about their products within them.
How should brands talk about their products?
The question is to find your brand voice — then use that voice. Part of it probably is to find the humor that’s already there. In commercials a lot, like a car commercial, the humor isn’t about cars or the problems within cars. They’re just trying to be funny and then, BOOM, “Buy a car!” We try to mix the humor or the emotions or music in the same space of the product or the brand. So if it’s Orabrush, the humor is centered around bad breath.
How do videos go viral?
Don’t think about it at all as, “I want this video to be viral.”
What’s the most important thing for a brand on YouTube?
If you’re going to be on a community platform, then you need to be a member of that community and not just pretend to be a member. You need to learn how to work with others who know the space and are more adept than you are. In a very true sense, you’re working together with people rather than being a corporate island.
Digiday+ Research deep dive: YouTube holds strong as a reliable marketing channel for agencies and brands
YouTube might not be considered the most exciting marketing channel out there, but brands and agencies see the platform as a reliable marketing channel that delivers consistent success.
Pringles goes all in on social to put college athletes front-and-center for ‘March Mustache’ campaign
Pringles is turning to social media — particularly Instagram — to leverage some of the college athletes playing in the March Madness basketball tournament, with the goal of reaching college basketball fans on second screens.
Short-form video needs better monetization, creator funds aren’t the way to do it
Creator funds have almost been like a stepping stone before a more permanent solution is either considered or put into place.
SponsoredHow advertisers are leveraging omnichannel attribution and measurement to power CTV
Sponsored by MNTN Connected TV advertising has joined and expanded the larger ecosystem of campaigns that advertisers deploy. As such, omnichannel marketing strategies now encompass television and mobile devices, tablets and other screens such as out-of-home. And as customers engage across these different touchpoints, brands are seeking and moving their measurement and analytics efforts to […]
L’Oreal uses social listening, in-house teams to tap into beauty trends ‘at the speed of culture’
The beauty behemoth is turning to in-house teams to accelerate content production that taps into trends within days, rather than the weeks or months of traditional marketing and advertising timelines.
With Canva and Adobe’s new updates, the generative AI race enters the brand design space
Canva and Adobe are just two of several major design and visual platforms that are rapidly introducing new generative AI capabilities in the service of brands.