If someone would have told you just a couple of short years ago that a video of a man dressed as a musketeer eating rainbow-colored ice cream, pooped out by a unicorn puppet would have over 31 million views on YouTube in less than a year, you’d probably think that person was nuts. And if the creators of the Squatty Potty would have thought that way, they probably wouldn’t be selling over 2,000 units per day.

The Squatty Potty video is one of the gold standards for launch videos. It takes a product that is, not surprisingly, hard to talk about seriously and makes it approachable, hilariously fun, charming, cute, and intriguing. The whole idea behind the Squatty Potty flies in the face of how we’ve gone about our business in the restroom for hundreds of years. It’s a highly personal activity that culturally, we just don’t talk about. But the science is behind it and doctors are recommending it to patients suffering from constipation more and more. This type of traction video makes it easier to wrap your head around it.

The creators of the Squatty Potty were interviewed last year by CNBC and had this to say:

When first presented with the idea for the video, the Edwards family thought it was too cheeky and too expensive. “We’re talking about a subject nobody wants to talk about,” said Judy, “and if a unicorn, or anything, is going to show poop, we don’t want it to be poop, we want it to be something that people like and enjoy.” Hence, the ice cream. “It’s not OK to talk about poop, but it’s OK to talk about ice cream,” said Bill. They eventually decided to spend $250,000 to make the ad. At last count, it had over 100 million hits, and sales have surged. “We’re going to make more videos, and they’re going to cost a lot more than that,” Bill laughed.

That is the power of a well-made launch video. It uses humor and excellent production values to create a viral experience that makes people laugh and more importantly, makes them buy a product. The owners of Squatty Potty know something that most don’t: roughly 12-16% of the North American population suffer from constipation (source). That’s around 63 million people. That’s an extremely large customer base. You can bet on it that when everyone is laughing at the adorable unicorn pooping ice cream with the aid of a Squatty Potty, anyone among those 63 million is definitely seriously considering spending $25 for the sake of relief.

Despite being hilarious and entertaining on its own merit, the Squatty Potty Traction Video educates the viewer very competently about a very real problem. And it offers an amazing solution. But besides addressing the problem and offering the solution, it intrigues the larger audience beyond those afflicted with the problem. It endears the product to the larger audience and it sells to them as well. The video successfully demonstrates the power of the product, creates a lovable brand with a distinct voice, and reaches past the primary demographic to reach millions as either a curiosity piece, a gag gift, or a newfound pleasurable way to poop. And that’s why the Squatty Potty Video is such an effective example of a traction video.

Written by Duke Jarboe, Lead Videographer at Traction Video