The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


No Wonder American’s Love Their Teeth, Their Dentists Are Like A Holiday Camp …

When I was a kid, a visit to the dentist was a thing to be scared of.

To be honest, it shouldn’t have because I had great teeth … but there was always that chance something might happen and that scared the hell out of me.

If further evidence of my dental naivety/good teeth was needed, when I finally did have to have some treatment – a wisdom tooth removal, when I was 14 – I was in utter shock that they were literally pulling the tooth out of my gob as I assumed they’d give my gums an injection and it would fall out.

The weirdest bit of all is that when you left the dentist, they gave you a sweet.

A SWEET!

Though now I think of it, it probably was their way of guaranteeing further business from you down the line.

And given how bad my teeth are these days, it seems that was a brilliant strategy.

Evil. Geniuses.

Now I appreciate when I was a kid, the World was a very different – and younger – place, but having just taken Otis to the dentist, I’m jealous how ace his experience is.

For a start the interior has been decked out in different animal themes.

From Giraffe’s to Panda’s … each room has a different theme to help kids feel they’re somewhere special and different.

Then there’s the video games for them to play in reception or – if they’re too young – a huge aquarium for them to look at.

But it’s when they are having treatment the real difference happens.

Not because there’s a video screen showing cartoons.

Or wireless headphones so you can hear the movie not the drill.

Or even the sunglasses so you don’t let the brightness of the dentist light affect you.

Or even the balloon [not sweets] they give you as you leave the building.

It’s the way they make sure they spend time explaining what each instrument is and what it does. Letting the kid hold it, hear it … get an understanding of what it does so it stops being a fearsome object of pain and simply a instrument of health.

Whatever stress they have is reduced.

They feel they’re in a safe environment.

A special environment.

With people who you won’t fuck you over but actually want you to have an exciting experience with a great result.

It turns a visit to the dentist from a scary experience to a positive one.

Even an awaited one.

All because they give the time and space for patients emotions and fears to be calmed, which gives them – and their parents – the confidence to let the dentist do their thing. That doesn’t just result in more efficient treatment but makes the parent feel OK about being charged an arm and a leg because their precious child had an experience that is the absolute opposite of what they feared they’d have.

Now I know creativity needs a place where chaos and curiosity is allowed to explore and wander – something we don’t get enough of at the best of times – but in terms of getting clients into the right frame of mind to allow agencies to do their thing without skeptical, questioning and damning eyes, adland could learn a lot from American Dentists.

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18 Comments so far
Leave a comment

only you can find a link between dentists and agencies. i dont know if im impressed or fucking disgusted.

Comment by andy@cynic

How about disgusted that you’re impressed?

Comment by Rob

otis is getting big. cant wait till i can pay him to beat his old man up.

Comment by andy@cynic

Any day now. And I think he’ll do it for free.

Comment by Rob

Dentists make more money than agencies.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Are british dentists as rich? Given the state of UK teeth, they should be.

Comment by Bazza

Love the photos of Otis.

Comment by Bazza

no. because us brits want to be judged on our brains more than our fucking horse smiles.

Comment by andy@cynic

Certainly more profit.

And – arguably – they do it in a less humiliating/disgusting way.

Comment by Rob

Yes.

“All because they give the time and space for patients emotions and fears to be calmed, which gives them – and their parents – the confidence to let the dentist do their thing. That doesn’t just result in more efficient treatment but makes the parent feel OK about being charged an arm and a leg because their precious child had an experience that is the absolute opposite of what they feared they’d have.”

Comment by Pete

Reducing anxiety is incredibly profitable. You have to be able to follow through on what you’re claiming you can do, but that first step is key. Agencies tend to sell hope, which might be why they’re not doing as well as dentists.

Comment by Pete

An interesting read Robert with a lesson many industries should follow, not just advertising.

Comment by Lee Hill

Comment by John

Dental care is more expensive.

Comment by DH

That’s my point. Otis gets his headphones et al because the service provider is charging a fortune, not the other way round.

Comment by John

You’ve got about ten years until Otis turns to you and says “Dad, you are so fucked”. I base this estimate on personal experience.

Comment by Ian Gee

I think you’re being generous. But yes … thanks for reinforcing that to me, hahaha.

Comment by Rob

The good news is that a few years after that, you’ll be cool again. (The old Mark Twain observation about ‘how much the old man had learned’).

Comment by Ian Gee




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