Driving north from Charlotte on 1-77 last week my ear caught a radio commercial for The Carolina Men’s Clinic, which is said to be unusually effective at helping men overcome their E.D. issues. I listened all the way through the spot because I was too tired to reach over and change the station -- stuck in the predictable afternoon clot of traffic where lanes constrict from three to two, an event so normal that the traffic reporters pretty much ignore it.
I find E.D. commercials particularly irksome, whether on radio or TV, especially since I’m not in the market for release from this particular misery. But what grabbed my attention this time was the clinic’s claim that “even urologists trust Dr. Hansen to fix their E.D.”
What a great line, akin to a shoe store bragging about how many podiatrists shop there. I liked the line so much that I laughed out loud and began listening for the clinic’s spot during subsequent trips to Charlotte.
I have no idea how well the good doc’s treatment works (they claim a 92% success rate vs. a substantial failure rate for the branded pills hawked on TV) and remain mystified how a board certified family practice physician with a background in osteopathy established a clinic to treat men with sexual dysfunction in the first place. It may be as simple as finding a need and filling it; the need certainly seems to be there.
Another thing I liked about his spot was the promise of a non-intimidating experience -- plus proof in the pudding: treatment guaranteed to work or you get your $199 fee back. Dr. Hansen may be effective (or not), but either way there’s a lesson here to learn about communicating competitive advantage:
(1) Understand what sets your product or service apart from everybody else’s.
(2) State your difference in a few compelling, memorable, authentic words.
(3) If possible, have your tagline tell a story.
When I was a young teen being led astray by the tobacco industry, an R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company ad claimed that doctors preferred smoking Camel cigarettes. I ended up smoking them, too, lured in part by my parents’ example and by RJR's compelling ad, even though their proposition made no sense. But lots of people smoked in those days; it was socially acceptable – even expected. So how bad could it be if More Doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette (according to a nationwide survey)? The toughest guys and most elegant women in the movies all smoked ...
I don’t know how well Dr. Hansen’s bit of clever copywriting is working for him, but the lesson here is clear: his radio spot DID get my attention and DID make me remember what sets the Carolina Men’s Clinic apart, thanks to a handful of ear-catching, memorable words.
Dr. Hansen doesn’t use the “urologist” claim as a formal tagline, but dontcha think he should?
TakeAway: A tagline that tells a solid strategic story gathers ears and changes minds.
Content © by Brian E. Faulkner