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Follow me to a great dentist


January 26, 2010 | dlpmagazine.comWeb Exclusive Follow me to a great dentistMixing humor with an important message, Maverick Dental Lab markets its dentists to the public. By Pam Johns

January 26, 2010 | dlpmagazine.com
Web Exclusive 

Follow me to a great dentist

Mixing humor with an important message, Maverick Dental Lab markets its dentists to the public.

By Pam Johnson, Editor-in-Chief

Grabbing the attention of the public, raising public awareness of the benefits of dental health, delivering new patients to clients and, all the while, cutting delivery costs is what one laboratory in Pennsylvania has managed to do with their new fleet of delivery cars. Wrapped with humerous images and relatable messaging, the delivery cars of Maverick Dental Laboratory attract the attention of consumers with their “Follow me to a great dentist” creative marketing campaign as they deliver crowns and bridges to local dentists throughout southwestern Penn.

“The campaign took shape when we began analyzing what were were spending by paying our drivers milage for delivery services versus owning our own fleet of delivery vehicles,” said Maverick’s President Joe Fey. “And if we owned our delivery cars we wanted to use them to get an advertising push for the laboratory.” But when Fey and Dale Chandler, Maverick’s CFO, began brainstorming, they soon came to the decision that since the laboratory does not directly serve the public they would use the advertising messaging on the delivery fleet as a referral service for their customers.

“The response has been outstanding,” said Fey.

Getting on the road

Finding the right type of messaging was the biggest struggle for Fey and Chandler. The concept of before-and-after shots was thrown out, glamorous cosmetic imaging was a possibility but was soon dismissed because it didn’t relate to the average consumer they were trying to reach. “Finally, we began to explore the concept of humor as the driving force behind the messaging,” said Fey. “If we could come up with a concept that everyone could relate to and laugh at yet would get the public thinking, then we would be on to something.”

They researched the Internet for just the right images and found five that they both thought would work. But when they contacted the Web site that owned the images to inquire about cost, the quote came back as more than $25,000. That’s when they decided to use actors from a local talent agency and a local commercial photographer to recreate the shots they had chosen on the Internet.

With the images ready, they found a graphics firm to lay out a template provided by Toyota for fully wrapping the Scion delivery cars with the images and text. From there the cars went to a company specializing in wrapping vehciles in images. After two weeks the cars were delivered to Maverick, ready to go.

“Before we gave them to our drivers. we took all five to the city for a photo shoot,” said Chandler. “We were estatic at the reaction we got as we drove to the city. People laughed and pointed at the cars or when we came to a red light try to mimic the image they saw on the side of the car. We now knew that we had successfully attracted the attention of the public but was it going to pay off for our dentists.”

The pay off

The reaction of Maverick’s dentist clients to the campaign has been one of great appreciation. “When we showed a couple of our clients our marketing concept prior to carrying through with it, they were thrilled that we were doing something to help them get new clients,” said Fey. And the campaign is paying off for their clients. People are calling the lab saying they saw one of the delivery cars and could the lab recommend a dentist. “We have four certified dental assistants working for us, one of whom fields these calls,” said Fey. “They get the caller’s e-mail address, where they live, try find out about their dental needs, if they have insurance and then put them in touch with two or three dentists who are geographically close to where the individual lives or works.” The dentists are then contacted and given the information on the potential new qualified referral. If the patient needs prosthodontic work, the referral pays off for Maverick. “This is a great win-win for for everybody,” said Fey.

Photos Courtesy of: Maverick Dental Laboratory

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