How Freshpet Turned a Viral Video into Sales

Posted 4 years ago by How Freshpet Turned a Viral Video into Sales

Apparently, YouTube Stars Deliver Brand Lift

If you have access to YouTube or afternoon television, you’ve surely already heard about 5-year-old Noah Ritter and his sudden rise to celebrity status. His story is representative of the dramatic and abrupt shifts in the media environment that are forcing marketers to adapt.

Upon departing a ride at the Wayne County Fair, a reporter from local WNEP-TV interviewed 5-year-old Noah Ritter when he suddenly grabbed the microphone and “apparently” became an instant sensation. WNEP-TV thought he was so likeable that they posted the interview to their YouTube channel on August 4, and just one week later it had been viewed over 3 million times. The trending ascension of Noah, now knows as the “Apparently Kid,” started catching the attention of the media where the video appeared in several national news stories, including USA Today.

When the folks at Shareability, an LA-based full service brand agency that focuses exclusively on YouTube, got word that young Noah was headed for the Ellen Show, they quickly contacted their client, Freshpet, and urged them to sign Noah as a spokesperson. With no time to waste, a deal was made with Noah’s family and a commercial was shot in Los Angeles right before Noah made his first appearance on the Ellen Show. The Freshpet commercial featuring Noah was published to YouTube the next day, and the numbers speak for themselves:

The WNEP-TV interview – 18 million views

Noah’s first appearance on the Ellen Show – 13 million views

Freshpet Commercial featuring Noah Ritter – 3.5 million views


Katie Tyson, Marketing Manager at Freshpet, told MediaPost that the main goal of the video was to drive brand awareness. “Traditionally we’ve done that with television, but this year we began focusing on digital video,” she explained. The video received 2 million views in the first two days of the release and the Freshpet YouTube channel rose to the top 5 pet food brands on YouTube by subscriber count. Most importantly, this sparked the highest site traffic for Freshpet since inception, up a whopping 561%. Apparently, this strategy is working!

If you think this might be a quick hit, well I suppose we’ll all just have to keep our eye on the young Noah and his work with Freshpet. He is now a regular on the Ellen show and has appeared on several other media channels. Can a cute 5-year-old really drive a sustained brand campaign? Well, when you are dealing with the quick creative life span of the YouTube age, as a brand marketer you have to ride what works for as long as it works.

Meet Katie Tyson and learn more about Freshpet and Noah Ritter at ADAPT, February 22-24. Request your invitation to ADAPT here.