Good Samaritan Urology is running a radio ad for a March Madness vasectomy special. It sounds like it should be a spoof, right? Wrong. This is a real promotion involving real doctors, nurses, and scalpels. Patients can have the short procedure done at the clinic, and then recover at home while watching college basketball from the relative comfort of their easy chairs.
First of all, what does one thing have to do with the other? This is lazy marketing to connect two disparate events. It makes as much sense as mattress sales on Labor Day. I don’t mind stupid commercials for mattresses, or beer, or soda. But hospital commercials are supposed to be comforting and professional, not jarring and juvenile. Should a medical facility really allow their first impression to be made by a booming-voiced radio deejay? This trivialization of surgical procedures through shallow marketing is as tacky as it is insulting. Most people choose a doctor based on geography and insurance, not air time.
If hospitals think this is an effective approach, why stop at vasectomies? How about making a BOGO special which also includes tubal ligation? Or putting a DVD player in the recovery room and queuing up pertinent programming for the sake of promotion? Dialysis can be a drag, but not when you’re Dancing with the Stars or, get your junk switched and watch a Sex (change) in the City marathon… You get the idea.
The decision to have a vasectomy is one of the most important ones a man can make in a lifetime. Family planning is normally the sacred cow of conversation, much less marketing. Other than commercials for condoms, most Americans are rarely exposed to advertising for birth control. Planned Parenthood would never attempt to rebrand itself for a sporting event. Why should we accept a different standard of integrity from Good Sam, just because they operate on men?
Contrarian Anarcho-Capitalist Devil’s Advocate Wonders, “Who gives a &$%@?”
By Ygal Kaufman
There are no boundaries. Say it with me. There is no spoon.
There is no life choice sacred enough that I prefer unspoken, arbitrary boundary-making over the enforcement of its imagined rights. Which is to say: please bring on the ads for everything.
Not that I like ads. I rarely listen to the radio or watch television programs when they air live on TV because I hate watching and listening to ads (Not reading them, though! Holler back at us, local businesses…). But if you want to have a free and open society with awesome stuff like guns and booze and strip clubs, and strip clubs where you can buy booze and bring your guns, then you have to be prepared for the profiteers who know how to play an angle.
Oh, and let’s not act like we don’t understand the angle. Let Dick Vitale read between those lines for you:
“Hey, dads. Have you not enjoyed a March Madness in the last four years? Could it have anything to do with the four-year-old diaper dandy running around while you try to relax? Well, you won’t enjoy another one for about 14 years, baby! But here’s an opportunity to ensure that starting in 2027 you get to kick back and watch the tourney in peace… Good Sam vasectomies, awesome baby!”