An Agency Known for Viral Ads Is Giving Away a $100K Campaign to a Struggling Business

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Utah-based advertising agency Harmon Brother knows the coronavirus pandemic is—to put it bluntly—a crappy situation for businesses.

Grounded in that realistic perspective, Harmon Brothers, which is known for (and proud) of their distinctive work centered on bodily odors and conversational taboos, are gifting a pot of gold to one struggling business.

The creators of the wildly successful viral video campaigns for Poo-Pourri, Squatty Potty, FiberFix and Lume debuted the “100K Poop to Gold Giveaway” contest today, which grants one lucky grand prize winner a Harmon Brothers spring advertising campaign at $100,000 value, free of charge. The goal of the giveaway, which includes additional marketing prizes for businesses that pitch themselves best, is to boost businesses hit hard by Covid-19.

“In the most challenging economy in modern history, most businesses are faced with a glaring choice: innovate or face extinction. We’ve been through huge challenges as an agency and learned to take bold risks to drive success for our clients. This experience, coupled with an even greater surge in demand for ecommerce, puts Harmon Brothers in a unique position to help,” said Benton Crane, CEO of Harmon Brothers, in a statement.

Crane told Adweek that his own financial history with “poopy circumstances” had been coming to mind over the past weeks as Covid-19-related announcements of furloughs, layoffs and bankruptcies have been disrupting the advertising, marketing and media industries.

Crane left his comfortable and promising consulting career at Deloitte in September 2013 to kick off Harmon Brothers with the real-life Harmon brothers, Jeff, Neil and Daniel. Their first campaign for Poo-Pourri Toilet Spray racked up more than 200 million views and, according to Crane, propelling the dung-scent defying brand from $7 million per year revenue to $30 million by 2014.

After that initial success, however, the agency went through a “long dry spell,” during which Crane ended up driving for Uber “just to keep food on the table” while he and his business partners were figuring out what their next campaigns would be. “It was a pretty crappy time and a painful experience to go from Deloitte to Uber. It was scary for my wife and kids.”

The turning point for Harmon Brothers was the Squatty Potty “pooping unicorn” viral sensation in October 2015. From then on, Harmon Brothers has helped drive over $450 million in sales with its 20 most notable campaigns to date.

Now, the ad agency is hoping to pay their fortune forward with this contest.

“Quite frankly, it’s during these hard times that the best innovation, the best ideas and the best businesses emerge. We want to help several businesses on that journey to go through their own poop to gold moment,” Crane said.

To enter the giveaway, companies must share a story about how their service or product is solving a problem in a post on social media that includes the hashtag #PoopToGold and tagging a Harmon Brothers social media account. Entrants must also submit an application on the agency’s website.

There will be 10 total winners. One grand prize winner will receive a free Sprint video created by the Harmon Brothers, five finalists will receive free coaching by a Harmon Brothers creative director through a video and all 10 of the semifinalists will receive one year of free access to Harmon Brothers University.

The ad school program, launched in 2018, teaches students how to “build a convincing character, reinforce a brand, craft a solid hook for an entertaining video and convert viewers to customers,” among other courses. The agency refers to the online learning platform as the “playbook for creating ads that brand and sell.”

The contest will run from May 1 to May 22.

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