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How to Create an Ad that Appeals to Surgery Facility Managers

High-scoring ads from the August issue of Outpatient Surgery. Click on the links at the end of the column to see larger versions.

For the past 10 Augusts, 200 surgical facility leaders have been kind enough to review the ads in Outpatient Surgery Magazine. Over the years, our Ad-Viser panel has revealed a lot about what flips our readers’ switches…and what doesn’t. A few do’s and don’t’s, based on almost a decade of study:

Do be interactive if possible. One top-rated ad included a crossword puzzle.

Do consider using high quality, dramatic color photos or illustrations.

Do include a financial benefit in the headline if you have one or clearly state it if you are offering something for free.

Don’t use busy layouts. Keep the graphics and text clean and simple.

Don’t use “high concept” graphics. Many surgical facility managers tend to be literal and dislike images that are clinically inaccurate (rings on fingers) or that symbolize a concept but are not relevant to the OR (such as a tennis racket).

Do show your product or service if possible.

Do be crystal clear about what it is you are trying to communicate. Do not assume the reader will “get” concepts that are even a little bit obscure.

Do watch out for words like “solution” that may have more than one OR meaning.

Don’t use text-heavy ads. Less is definitely more.

Don’t tilt ads toward one sex or another. For example, an ad with a race car might appeal to males but not females.

Want to know what surgical decisionmakers think of your ad before you place it in our magazine? Let us know–we can often do a “mini” ad study that helps you fine-tune your message.

Click on the links below to see larger versions of 2011′s winning ads. Do these pieces effectively get their messages across?

B. Braun Dual Guidance

Arthrex Get Real

Verathon Glidescope

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