Bringing infomercials to the people

December 10, 2007 by Dave Haynes

You can only really hit the insomniac crowd with most infomercials, so a cosmetic dentistry company is backing a new network aimed at getting their product pitches for implants and bridges right where its target audience is sitting, twiddling collective thumbs in the waiting rooms of dentists across the U.S.

The NobelVision Network, says a press release, will be installed in 200 dental offices using Nobel Biocare products by the end of 2007. With over 160,000 practicing dentists in the US, Nobel Biocare will focus on partnering with their dentists in bringing this innovative patient education/entertainment system to over 1,200 dental reception rooms by the end of 2008 and expanding globally thereafter.

The NobelVision™ Network is a customized channel of dental healthcare information specifically designed to educate the patients of Nobel Biocare’s customers on their dental options by delivering quality educational, informational and entertainment segments via an IP-based, networked narrowcast system. Presented on large flat-panel screens installed in dental offices, the NobelVision™ Network provides a unique opportunity for advertisers and content partners to market their products and services to a targeted, health conscious audience with known demographic and statistical data.

“With the growing population of patients who actively research their own healthcare options, having fresh, up-to-the minute information that’s pertinent to their needs makes the wait in the dentist’s office a more productive experience,” said Kevin Mosher, Vice President & General Manager, Nobel Biocare North America. “For dentists, it’s always better to have educated patients, particularly when they become knowledgeable about additional services that may be of benefit to them. The NobelVision™ Network represents a strategic vehicle to deliver timely and relevant information in an appropriate setting for the benefit of both parties.”

Content is being custom-created over an IP network, with “entertainment, educational programming and advertising specifically targeted to the dental patient. The programming also includes real time information, such as news in a ticker format, at the bottom of the system’s flat panel television screen. Additionally, the network will be used for clinician training, communication and continuing education by companies providing products and services directly to the practice after hours.”

“Digital signage networks give healthcare providers a way to educate their patients on both new and existing procedures and treatment options, as well as provide manufacturers with a new avenue to reach their valued customers. This can help generate additional revenue for both the practice and suppliers,” says Ray Heiser, Managing Partner of Creative Marketing and Merchandising Media Solutions, the company doing the project for Nobel. “For patients, it’s a real improvement over the typical reception waiting room experience with outdated magazines and piped-in music. Digital signage networks capture attention, communicate information clearly, and ultimately spur the patient into action.”

I’m not convinced being stuck in a waiting room getting hammered at about the wonders of esthetic dentistry is a big step up from reading old magazines, but the screens certainly will do a better job of informing prospective customers than brochures sitting on a table.

There are likely other ones around, but it’s the first time I have seen a business model like this in which a strategic vendor is driving the network bus. You’d have to think the major brands that do toothbrushes, floss, mouthwash and whitening products will be curious about how this plays out.

  1. Sure beats the torn issue of Good Housekeeping from April ’94 that I read every six months when I visit my dentist.

  2. […] Nikki Baird, a managing partner at Retail Systems Research, has written a piece about the deal announced yesterday that sees a cosmetic dentistry giant rolling out its own network in dental […]

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