Unintended Messages Can Hurt Dentists

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Patient Attraction Episode 469

Have you ever accidentally sent the wrong message in something you said? Something like, “Your daughter looks just like you, except beautiful,” or “You’re smarter than I thought you were.” Today, I’m going to look at how a popular television commercial is doing just that, and how dentists can avoid the same mistake. Stay tuned.

– Hi, Colin here and welcome to another week of the Patient Attraction Podcast.

– Today, I want to look at a current commercial run by State Farm Insurance.

– You have probably seen it, as it seems to run pretty frequently.

– If you haven’t seen it, you can Google the term “State Farm Never Commercial” to find it.

– So here’s how it goes:

– A guy is hanging with his friends at a pool party and says he will never get married.

– Then he gets married.

– He and his wife say they will never have kids.

– They have a kid.

– He says they will never move to the suburbs.

– They move to the suburbs.

– He says they will never get a minivan.

– Next scene shows him washing a minivan.

– He says they will never have another kid.

– She says she is pregnant.

– Clearly, this commercial is reaching out to all the formerly “cool” people who ended up living the same yuppy lifestyle they had once railed against.

– Pretty good plan.

– This is a huge audience of people from 35-55, likely making good incomes, who can see themselves in this commercial.

– If the commercial had stopped here, I probably wouldn’t be giving this podcast.

– It would be just another commercial.

– But it doesn’t end there.

– The very last scene shows him with his sleeping wife and two kids on the couch, and he proclaims, “I am never letting go.”

– Now what is the viewer supposed to take away from that?

– That the next scene is him with a new trophy wife sitting in a Corvette while the kids waive sadly out the window, I guess!

– Unbelievable.

– They send you through four or five scenes of him doing the exact opposite of what he said he was going to do and then end on a sentimental note?

– Now, you could argue that the commercial makes EXACTLY the point that he will eventually let go.

– It IS an insurance commercial after all, and if him dying or being injured were the only other option for “letting go,” that would be one thing.

– But it isn’t, and people all over the Internet have pointed out exactly this point.

– So be careful about the messages you put out there.

– For instance, I have talked to dentists who advertised that they accept Medicaid and then never saw more affluent new customers.

– If you regularly market your specials, you will attract only people who are looking for specials – and lose those patients to the next dentist offering better specials.

– Make sure the messages you put out say exactly what you mean them to say and nothing more.

– Until tomorrow, keep moving forward.