Just over a year after releasing the Squatty Potty ad - dubbed "The Greatest Viral Ad in Internet History"- Harmon Brothers has done it again, rolling out a hilarious sequel promoting Unicorn Gold, a fragrant toilet spray intended to kill bathroom odor.
The Provo, Utah-based social media ad agency released the new ad, "Slay Your Poo Stink with the Golden Fart of a Mystic Unicorn", at a first-ever red carpet premiere on Wednesday. Like its prequel, the ad features a handsome prince, pooping unicorn, and a plethora of tongue-in-cheek poop euphemisms.
"Unlike other toilet sprays, Unicorn Gold fights the stench both above and below the splashline, leaving your throne-and your throne chambers-smelling cleaner than a unicorn's whistle," says the prince. "You get the love you deserve, and the next person in line gets a clean slate to do whatever it is they 'doo' in there."
Benton Crane, Managing Director of Harmon Brothers, told The Gospel Herald that before tackling the first Squatty Potty commercial - titled "This Unicorn Changed the Way I Poop" - they asked themselves, "How do we talk about such a hard subject in an appropriate way?"
"We decided the answer was to get as far away from the real thing as possible and be in a mystical fairyland filled with unicorns, and instead of poop, we're using ice cream so that everything that you see onscreen is very happy, very desirable - even delicious," he said. "Because the images are so friendly and welcoming, the hard things that you're actually discussing, it takes the edge off them. That was the same mentality we had this time, with a toilet spray. And, when you have a character like the unicorn, how can you not bring it back?"
The masterminds behind these viral ads are more than just brilliant marketers; they're also husbands and fathers who view their work through the lens of their faith. As devout Mormons, they don't drink, and recently turned down work from beer company Anheuser-Busch.
"I would say the most fundamental core tenant of how Harmon Brothers selects clients is whether or not our team can get super passionate about a service," said Crane. "When Anheuser-Busch approached us with a big budget, it was super enticing. But, we decided there are other people who can be way more passionate about beer and sell it way better than we can. And so, for us, it's really important that we choose products and clients who we can get passionate behind. When faith plays a role in that - it's not that we're looking down our nose at Anheuser-Busch or anyone who markets it, we just realize it's not a fit for us."
Their passion has more than paid off: A year after its release, the pooping unicorn commercial has garnered more than 200 million views on YouTube and Facebook. On its website, Harmon Brothers notes that shortly after the ad debut, Squatty Potty saw a 600 percent increase in online sales and a 400 percent increase in retail sales over the same period the year before.
"When Harmon Brothers first approached us with the idea of a pooping unicorn, we weren't so sure," Squatty Potty CEO Bobby Edwards told The Gospel Herald. "But, they said, 'Trust us,' so we did, we took a leap of faith. And, boy are we glad we did. Immediately after they released it - within hours - they were getting thousands of views, and it just kept going. It's almost created a cult. It's been way better than anything we've done to date."
Harmon Brothers' new toilet-spray ad is already on pace to achieve the success of its prequel, garnering hundreds of thousands of views less than a week after its release. However, Crane said that while it's certainly a plus when an ad goes viral, it's far from the first thing on their mind when tackling a new project.
"Viral in itself is unpredictable, and if that's your goal, you're likely to be disappointed," he explained. "We always go into these not with the goal of virality, but with the idea of conversion. What excites us to is to find really amazing companies and products and fun people to work with. Then, to make these campaigns that reaches the masses and puts these brands on the map. That's what drives, us and we're having fun doing it."