In today’s world, there’s an increasing number of people looking online for medical services. Since the advent of digital marketing, dental practices are leveraging ads to attract new patients. And for good reason: Businesses make an average of $2 in income for every $1 they spend in AdWords. Display advertising has proven to increase traffic to websites by 300 percent.
You know the power of advertising, but how can you create high-performing ads that will make patients come rushing to your door? In this post, we’ll look at some great dental ads that have been successful in generating new leads and building brand awareness.
7 Fantastic Dental Ads That Attract New Patients
1. Crooked Fork Tines
Grand Street Dental posted an ad on Instagram that advertises their Invisalign services, the clear alternative to metal braces for teens and adults. In the ad, there’s a fork with crooked tines. They appear twisted and bent. This, of course, symbolizes crooked teeth.
The ad grabs attention because it features a photograph of a fork that’s an unusual shape. When scrolling through their timeline, Instagram users aren’t expecting to see a fork, let alone a fork with crooked tines. People looking at the ad would probably wonder why the fork’s tines are crooked. Then, they’ll look at the caption of the photo that answers their question without directly answering it.
The caption makes no mention of the fork, but it does talk about crooked teeth and the benefits of having straight teeth such as:
- Harbor healthy bacteria;
- Help reduce the inflammation of the gums and bone;
- Are easier to clean;
- Promote fresh breath.
This dental ad is not only effective because it features an attention-grabbing image, but also because it lists the benefits of straighter teeth without sounding too sales-y. Potential dental patients probably don’t care about all the great features Invisalign has to offer. They likely only want to know how it will benefit them or fix their problem, which is in this case, crooked teeth.
Tip: Do the unexpected, but make it relevant to the message you’re trying to convey and the audience you’re looking to target. More and more people are starting to skip over ads, so you want to make sure your ads hold their attention for more than a few seconds. To keep their attention, list out the benefits of your services and emphasize how you can help them.
Facebook ads can also be effective, especially because you can use specific targeting to hone in on your target audience. This particular ad by the Smile Experts of Los Angeles is very clear about its target audience – Los Angeles residents. It features a smiling woman with a dentist in the background. This helps put viewers who may have anxiety about visiting the dentist at ease. The woman smiling shows that going to the dentist can be a positive experience.
The ad isn’t intended for an audience that lives in another city or state such as Sacramento or New York, unless of course, prospects in these areas don’t mind driving all the way to Los Angeles to visit the dentist. Using a geographic modifier is smart advertising because the ad is only visible to those who live in a specific area. Therefore, you won’t be wasting advertising money on people who likely won’t drive all the way to your dental practice.
Tip: Whether you’re using Google or Facebook (or any other social channel), use specific targeting to tailor your ads to the right audience. Location is perhaps the most important demographic to specify because people will be coming to your office and proximity is a major factor in choosing a dentist.
3. Dental Makeover
This before-and-after ad by Sea Smiles Dental Clinic shows a horrifying before image of a person with missing, yellowing teeth. The after image displays a white, youthful smile. Although the after image shows a more promising outcome, the before image is hard for viewers to look away from and even harder to forget. Think of a horror movie or a train heading for a wreck. You want to look away because you’re afraid of what’s about to happen, but you can’t.
Of course, you don’t want to scare your audience away. This ad doesn’t do that. Along with the dental catastrophe, it demonstrates, it provides a promising outlook. At first, viewers probably want to look away, but can’t. Upon closer viewing of the ad, they see that there’s a solution to badly decaying teeth, which is dental care. If someone is suffering from the same dental problems displayed in the image, they’re likely to show interest in the ad and maybe even click on it to find out more.
Tip: Use captivating imagery that grabs attention and makes people stop what they’re doing to view your ad. Your image doesn’t have to be gruesome or unsightly, but it does need to be interesting enough to make people take a second look.
4. Gollum Before-and-After
Similar to the previous ad, this before-and-after ad of Gollum from Lord of the Rings is captivating and even adds a bit of humor to a possibly dreadful situation. The picture shows a gruesome before shot of Gollum with dark-colored teeth that are missing and decayed. This half of the photo is labeled, “BEFORE OUR HELP.” The after shot features Gollum with a bright white smile, labeled, “AFTER OUR HELP.” Even though the second image is photoshopped, it still has a powerful effect on its viewers.
First of all, including a popular movie/book in an ad for dental services is unexpected. This automatically grabs attention and makes people want to look even closer at the ad. Secondly, most people consider dental problems a serious matter, but this ad brings some humor to the mix. While adding humor might seem risky, it seems to work here because many people dealing with dental problems are looking for comfort and reassurance. They want to feel like they’re not alone and that someone is there to help. Making them smile or laugh also doesn’t hurt.
Tip: Dental ads don’t have to be serious all the time. Don’t be afraid to add a little humor to your ads. Include a joke or a funny meme/image to make your ad stand out from competitors. You can also include a reference to pop culture that most people can identify with.
Most of the dental ads we discuss in this article are delivered to a digital audience, but let’s not sleep on print ads. Old school advertising is still a great way to get your dental practice in front of your audience and attract new patients.
This Yellow Pages ad features a woman wearing a crown on her head and a funny caption that reads, “My Dentist told me I needed a crown. I was like, I KNOW RIGHT?” It’s funny because it’s a play on words. The woman was referring to a crown on her head, implying that she’s a princess or queen. In the dental industry, we know that a crown is a “cap” which is placed over a tooth. Like the Gollum Before-and-After ad, this ad is also humorous and engaging.
In addition to the funny cartoon, the ad also features special offers as an incentive to come visit the office. There’s a free new patient special that includes an exam, digital x-ray, consultation, and second opinion. The ad also shows when the offer will expire, which creates a sense of urgency. If patients don’t take advantage of the deal now, they’ll miss out.
Tip: All print ads don’t have to be boring and include a big block of text. Use interesting images that tell a story and that are relevant to your message. Also, include special offers that will make your audience want to take action.
6. Pretty Girl
Crest’s 3D White Whitestrips ad campaign featured videos on their YouTube channel and Facebook page. This particular ad shows an attractive woman getting lots of attention from men and envious looks from women. But when she opens up her mouth to smile, the room goes still. She doesn’t have the perfect white smile everyone was expecting. The video definitely features an element of surprise, which makes it powerful all on its own.
However, the video is conveying an important message that makes it even more relatable to its audience. The look of our teeth plays an important part in how people perceive our attractiveness. The smile is one of the first things people look at during a first impression.
This video is a great example of storytelling. It isn’t selling any Crest products. It doesn’t preach about the importance of taking care of your teeth. The video connects with viewers on a deeper level by featuring an everyday situation where men are admiring an attractive woman, but soon realize she isn’t what she appeared to be.
Tip: Don’t be so quick to hard-sell your dental services. Every ad doesn’t have to showcase your services. Use video to tell a powerful story. Include everyday situations that will make your audience relate to your dental ads. Add an interesting twist at the end that creates an element of surprise and captivates your audience.
7. City Smiles
City Smiles DC’s Google search ad targets people looking for dental crowns in the local Washington, DC area. Right in the ad headline, you can read “Third Party Financing,” which addresses the many dental patients who may not be able to afford the full price of a new dental crown. It shows that City Smiles is flexible and helpful when it comes to special situations their patients may be dealing with.
Within the ad copy, City Smiles emphasizes a “calm and relaxing atmosphere.” This shows potential patients that they understand their fears and are there to accommodate them and make them feel as comfortable as possible.
Tip: Address the pain points of your potential patients in your dental ads. Also, reassure them and let them know that you understand their problem. Doing so will help you connect with them on an emotional level.
Written by Andrew Epprecht
As the Founder and CEO of Phase 5 Analytics, Andrew leads a team of healthcare marketers and consultants. He's been featured in publications like Forbes and Search Engine Watch. An entrepreneur at heart, Andrew started his first business in high school. While attending Duke University, he further developed his knowledge of online marketing and advertising. Today, Andrew uses these skills to help forward-thinking healthcare organizations attract new patients online.