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01 Apr 2004 | Australasian Dental Practice

news > Spectrum > Page 44

CDA launches cosmetic dentistry TV campaign


Growing interest in cosmetic dental procedures among the general public fuelled by reality TV make-over shows, beauty magazines and the like is being addressed by a conglomerate of dentists under a common banner who equally want the challenge of achieving optimal aesthetics for their patients.

Cosmetic Dentists of Australia, or CDA as they are known, have combined to create the most ambitious dental marketing campaign so far seen in Australia. Many dentists have dabbled in advertising and marketing to the public at various levels since restrictions were lifted, however, the principal differentiator of the CDA model is television advertising.

"The question we asked ourselves was how do we attract high-end restorative cases to a practice?," said Carl Burroughs of specialist dental marketing consultancy Integrated Dental Marketing (IDM). "The answer of course was easy! Spend a massive amount of money on high-end media exposure such as television advertisements, glossy magazines like Vogue and hiring a professional public relations company to position it all around shows such as Today Tonight, a Current Affair and main stream media. The answer might be simple but the budget is of course impossible for an individual practice."

CDA was the brainchild of Mr Burroughs, who for the last 18 months has been working with individual dental practices in Australia and New Zealand through IDM to help them market their services to attract the patient base they desire.

CDA essentially pools the marketing budgets of multiple practices to use mediums such as television that would traditionally be financially restrictive for an individual practice. Any leads generated in the participating practice's territory (generally their postcode though capital city CBD's allow more participants) is referred to the practice. All calls are handled by a central call centre linked to a 1800 number that then mails information to prospective patients and passes the lead to the relevant practice.

"Dentistry is essentially a local business," Mr Burroughs said. "A loyal patient that moves out of the area may well still travel across town to see you, but a new patient will inevitably shop for a dentist based on convenience to work or home. This is why CDA works - we take a fraction of the cost it would take to create a high profile media campaign from each member and then use the most visible medium possible to promote the group.

"When we ran a one-week pilot campaign in Sydney only in December last year, we had over 150 genuine, qualified responses and the initial dentists participating in CDA had a field day! One participant, Dr Brett Taylor, delivered treatment plans for over $120,000 worth of work based on referrals from CDA to his practice and much of this is currently in progress. Overwhelming, the people responding to the CDA adverts are not so much concerned with the cost of treatment, but rather finding a dentist who can help them achieve the result they desire."

CDA have so far committed to $1.8 million in TV advertising and $300,000 in print advertising throughout 2004, as well as a professional public relation campaign to ensure CDA is a major success. And according to Mr Burroughs, this is just the beginning!

CDA now has member dentists in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney and commenced its first major campaign on Thursday, 19 Februar, with TV commercials around the Show "Extreme Makeover" on Channel 9. This campaign is being supported by daytime TV shows, print advertising such as Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, In Style, Good Medicine, Bride to Be and Cosmo Bride plus a range or PR activities.

"Like it or not, dentistry is changing," Mr Burroughs said. "TV shows like Extreme Makeover educate the general public on what is possible through advanced cosmetic procedures. If you have actually seen these shows, what really makes a difference to the candidate's final look is their smile.

"This is where CDA comes in, capitalising on the interest in cosmetic dentistry and providing a call to action for prospective patients. So far, the strategy is working well and we expect it to continue in the future."

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