What’s in a Dental Ad?
When it comes to purchasing products for your dental practice, where do you start? With an overabundance of handpieces, hand instruments, burs, chairs and other dental equipment out there today, what’s in an advertisement that can actually influence you to buy one product over another? Dental product companies are all about making their products stand out from the rest, but how can an advertisement catch the eye of the dentist and not get lost in the sea of products?
In this post I wanted to take a deep dive into the world of dental publications and the advertisements that are featured throughout their pages. Below I identified a few brands whose current ads stood out and made me want to learn more about the products within. The thoughts below are strictly my personal opinions and I hope this post opens up a discussion about how or why advertisements effect your purchasing decisions.
1). Tag – You’re it!
The first advertisement that drew me in was for CLEARsplint from Astron Dental. CLEARsplint is a clear nightguard that conforms to the patient’s teeth for ultimate comfort. When I saw the advertisement, the tagline was the first thing I looked at in search of more information about the product. Although it features a catchy, yet creative tag line, “THE NIGHTGUARD WITH FLEX!”, what really differentiated it from other nightguard brands was the clear visual of a woman sleeping soundly. It conveyed that even though she is wearing a nightguard, while sleeping, she is comfortable. My question is: As a purchaser, do you find the product tagline effective when recalling the product? Do you think a product tagline is necessary to capture your attention or does an image have more impact?
2). And the Winner is ….
The next advertisement I stumbled across that seemed to differentiate itself from the crowd was DenMat®’s wireless NV Microlaser. Its simplistic nature allowed for the product to take the spotlight and for the product information to be the afterthought. It was not the advertisement’s completely wire-free handheld design that caught my attention, but the awards that it has received. The seven awards listed stand for so much more than the brand name or image on display. This product is recognized as a technically advanced product as well as a top choice by dentists. But when making a new purchase, does an award-winning product sway your decision? Do you think these awards are valuable to the customer choices, or is it solely a marketing tactic?
3). Is it Comparable?
DATRON’s advertisement for the D5 dental mill, from a marketing perspective, was clever. In the advertisement, the D5 dental mill is compared to a BMW with a headline of “Speed.” The BMW in this advertisement represents the speed on the road, and the D5 dental mill represents the speed in the lab. Comparisons are a strong way to convey your message with a lot of impact. Here, the brand is illustrating a message to their audience that their product, the D5 dental mill, possesses similar qualities to those of a BMW including speed and quality. Does this image of the comparison help you get a better understanding of the product’s quality and speed? Does a claim of quality influence your purchasing decisions?
4). Expert Endorsement
Colgate®’s most recent advertisement for PreviDent® Varnish features a testimonial from Past President of the ADHA, Maria Perno Goldie, RDH MS. As a seasoned RDH, Goldie shares with the audience three clear, concise reasons why she switched to Colgate’s PreviDent Varnish. Colgate was keen to use such a credible source in the dental industry, with experience with a variety of products to market their products. The advertisement itself may appear to be simplistic to the average reader, but to a dental professional, Goldies’s testimonial heightens the awareness of the effectiveness and quality of Colgate’s PreviDent Varnish. The question here is how effective are peer testimonials in your purchasing decision? Do you as a dental professional look for brands your peers feel strongly about?
5). Bright Eyes!
This advertisement for FluoroDose®, a sodium fluoride varnish by Centrix®, caught my attention because of the variety of colors. The use of color in the dental industry is extremely reserved, so incorporating eye-catching color is a smart tactic for standing out in a dental publication. They went as far as to feature a promotion in hot pink text with a larger font size than the product information. So dental professionals, we want to know: Does your intent to purchase products increase when there is a promotion featured in bright colors?
6). Education on the Forefront
FASTBRACES® Technology currently has an advertisement featured in dental publications that focuses on the chance to earn 8 Continuing Education credits as well as free training when you purchase their products. This is an interesting marketing tactic in the dental industry, because dental professionals are constantly looking for ways to increase their education levels and enhance their skills. Although the advertisement creative is not as appealing as some advertisements for braces that grace the publications today, does the education aspect make up for it? Does offering CE credits increase your interest as the buyer to use this technology over another?
7.) Analyze This
Philips Sonicare’s AirFloss took their marketing strategy to the next level by including research. The use of statistics that they included in their advertisement is what caught my attention. Philips claims that, “Hygienists saw improved oral hygiene in 96% of patients with Philips Sonicare AirFloss.” In addition, by using statistics from real hygienists, it gives the audience more confidence in the validity of the statistics. So dental professionals, what’s your opinion on surveys and statistics. Do you find them to be persuasive? Are they helpful when purchasing a new product?
Overall, there are hundreds of marketing tactics dental companies use in dental advertisements to push their brands to stand out among the crowd, but what works for some may not work for others. We want the dentists and hygienists to be the judges here – what draws you into a dental advertisement and why? Share your thoughts with the Dental Geek!