How Church & Dwight’s Orajel Brand Is Reaching Parents Via Their Kids’ YouTube Show

The CPG holding company Church & Dwight started 2021 looking for a new kind of licensing partner for its Orajel kids’ toothbrush and toothpaste product lines.

“We wanted to complement our traditional characters from shows and movies with more social influencing brands, say, or Netflix-type brands and characters,” said Kevin Sherlock, C&D’s VP of marketing for the personal care business.

C&D landed on CoComelon, an animated kids’ show that’s consistently one of the most popular channels on YouTube. The marketing deal, which puts CoComelon characters on Orajel toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes, has been an “absolute home run” for the CPG brand, Sherlock said. But not just because the CoComelon characters are compelling in stores.

After the licensing deal kicked off, C&D also worked with CoComelon’s parent company, Moonbug, to produce two commercials and other video ads aimed at parents and kids. These would often run as pre-roll ads on CoComelon’s YouTube videos.

The ads aren’t necessarily for kids; they don’t feature characters from the show and aren’t even animated. But the real engine of Moonbug’s advertising business is reaching the parents, not the kids, said Dan’l Hewitt, Moonbug head of global partnerships.

“We know that parents are in the driver’s seat when it comes to choosing content,” Hewitt said. For one thing, more than a fifth of CoComelon’s hundreds of millions (sometimes more than a billion) views per week on YouTube come from Google searches. Those queries are likely not made by 3-year-olds.

The live-action ads target parents and what parents are dealing with at specific times in their child’s development. Getting children to brush their teeth well and consistently or going from diapers to potty training are some of the toughest daily battles in households with young kids, Hewitt said. And that’s who Moonbug is targeting with its C&D spots, including two 20-second commercials and a Facebook video to encourage toothbrushing habits.

Moonbug might get the kids more excited about this particular line of toothbrushes and toothpaste if the commercials included characters from the CoComelon program or integrated the brand into the content. But Hewitt said the company avoids such direct marketing deals using characters or sounds and animation styles from the show because of how sensitive parents (and regulators) can be about commercializing children’s shows, Hewitt said.

But some brands aren’t targeting CoComelon or any of Moonbug’s other kids’ programs, such as the educational show Blippi and Little Baby Bum, a show with its own Pluto TV channel and a Netflix series deal. Moonbug has done campaigns with the likes of Unilever and Toyota, Hewitt said, because they’re trying to target adults with families in CTV environments.

Brands segment campaigns and pay major premiums to try and laser-focus television or CTV ads to reach parents, Hewitt said.

The Orajel ads could theoretically be used for TV campaigns. They’re normal commercial length and style, after all. But that’s not where the scale exists anymore, said C&D’s Sherlock.

Moonbug only serves ads across its network of content on YouTube and distribution channels like Amazon Prime, Roku, Fire TV and Pluto TV, Hewitt said. But it reaches nine out of 10 US households with a child eight or under.

“This is the zero-proxy way to reach parents at scale. I think extending to TV we’d see higher costs and less reach to parents making the purchase decisions,” he said.

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