This falls into the category of digital out of home, much more than screens.
We’ve all been strapped into chairs and handed a set of scratchy old protective glasses while the dentist or hygienist goes to work inside our mouths. There have been a few dentists in my life that had TVs mounted into the ceiling to stare up up, but mostly it has been a bliding exam lamp and the mask-covered mugs of my captors.
So you’ve got dwell time, and now a way to fill that time looking at content and ads.
A company called MedPed has sold, so far, some 400 sets of digital goggle that dentists put on their patients, in a service called InChair TV.
The company behind InChairTV figures advertisers for toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash and other dental products will be willing to pay higher rates to reach people seeking distractions from dental procedures. Companies selling travel packages and other stress-relief services might also find the dentist’s chair prime time to make their pitches.
Willing patients put on a special headset to watch movies or television shows licensed from The Walt Disney Co. and its ABC TV network. The programs and infomercials are sent to dentists on DVDs, but soon they will be downloadable over the Internet.
For the past year, InChairTV has been filling commercial breaks with short infomercials about teeth whitening and other premium procedures. Now the company says it is opening the commercial breaks to outside advertisers, though it has yet to close any deals.
Matthew Leader, chief executive of InChairTV’s MedPed Media LLC, points out that patients are focused while they’re sitting in the chair — there’s no e-mail or other distractions as they have while watching regular TV. And people who regularly visit dentists tend to have more money and be better educated than the general population, Leader said.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.