Here’s a marketing challenge: Get men to let a surgeon approach their privates with a scalpel. Will a free pizza from Papa John’s do the trick?
Virginia Urology is pitching a sort of March Madness, urging men to get vasectomies in March so that they can watch the games without having to do chores or go to work. As if required rest weren’t enough of an incentive, Papa John’s is donating a free pizza to anybody who books an appointment through March.
And the campaign is working.
Terry Coffey, CEO of Virginia Urology, which has nine clinics in the metro area, said his practice has been running the ads on radio and TV for about 10 days and has seen a response.
“We have gotten a little bit of a peak in inquiries and consulting appointments,” said Coffey. “Even if they are not in the market for a vasectomy at the moment, hopefully they will remember us in the future.”
Coffey said that the procedure costs about $700 and that coverage is available from most insurance plans. The practice has 300 employees, 30 of which are urologists, said Coffey.
Urology clinics across the country are running similar promotions. The first practice to run the promotion was in Oregon in 2008. That practice shared the idea at a urology conference, and the concept has spread.
But Virginia Urology managed to snag the VasectomyMadness.com URL.
Coffey said his practice has made about 30 consultation appointments with clients over the website. He said that most of the men getting vasectomies are between the ages of 35 and 50 and that most have children.
The radio ads were produced by a Baltimore firm and are running on rotation at the four local Cox radio stations, which include K96 Country and Y101.
The TV ad is airing on WTVR Channel 6 and was produced by the station.
Vasectomies are a common surgery but are only a small part of Virginia Urology’s overall practice, which treats ailments including urinary cancers, incontinence, sexual dysfunction and kidney stones. The clinic also practices women’s urology.
Although the ads might not have a huge direct response, they are getting a lot of attention.
“Everywhere I go and they know where I work, they tell me that they really like the ad,” Coffey said.