by Karen Post, a.k.a. The Branding Diva®

It’s Ad Wednesday.
The hump day that shares the brilliant!Brilliant! and the bad (roadkill)Road kill ads from around the planet.

Kissing and licking body part take new stage.
Company: Peak Enterprises, Sarasota, Florida
Product: Tung Brush and Tung Gel, oral-care products.
Agency: Joel Warady Group

Brilliant campaign, but why not own

I suppose body parts like anything else have their place and time in our brand-centric minds. Of our appendages, our tongue is getting some new attention in the personal hygiene category. This week’s ad does a tasteful job of evolving a tired product into a hip, relevant brand.

Tung AdvertisementThe story: Tom Oechslin began selling his tongue-cleaning brushes in 1999. Positioned primarily as a clinical product sold to dentists and hygienists under the name Dr. Weider’s Original tongue brush.

In 2001, Tom began pitching the brushes to Wal-Mart, but was rejected for several years. Finally, in 2005, after working with brand consultant Joel Warady Group to rebrand the product from the clinical market toward a younger, cooler retail buyer, the Tung Brush was given a trial in about 800 Wal-Mart stores.

“The process was not an overnight initiative,” explained Joel. It was a major shift in strategy and moving the client into a new and sometimes uncomfortable zone.

After touring retailers and convincing Tom (the super conservative, really born again person) that lots of people were buying flavored KY jelly, piercing lots of body parts, having fun and even buying jewelry studs from Walmart, the product was reborn, rebranded and now Tung products are sold in some 3,500 Wal-Mart stores, recently launched in Japan in over 7,000 stores. Since the rebrand sales are up 25%.

Is your brand category changed? Is it time for a facelift, repositioning, renaming, repackaging or all of them?

Have you seen any interesting born-again brands that have been around along time and suddenly and need a fresh look or maybe an obituary draft? We want to hear from you.

About the author: Karen Post, a.k.a. The Branding Diva® is an international authority on branding, marketing, and entrepreneurial matters. She is has been featured as a business expert in print publications; on TV, radio, and on Web channels. Karen authored the best-selling book Brain Tattoos, Creating Unique Brands That Stick in your Customers’ Minds and she is co-founder and CEO of, an idea engine for creative professionals and business. Her work has benefited large and small organizations in the United States and around the world.