As you may remember, the AAO debuted “Happy Mouth Now,” a light-hearted, parody video series in May to address the potential dangers of not seeing an orthodontist in person. Since the launch of this campaign just a few short months ago, the AAO has made waves in advertising circles and is getting noticed for this intriguing and unique consumer education campaign. Additionally, this all-digital campaign recently surpassed 10 million total views on social media and Youtube, where the ads are typically placed.
AdWeek, an advertising trade publication frequented by global advertising creators, recently highlighted this campaign, calling it the AAO’s “most significant foray into content marketing”.
The article, which can be accessed by creating a free account, goes on to describe the parody series:
In a series of Saturday Night Live-style parody videos, a medical group is warning against such do-it-yourself treatments that have proliferated in recent years. Some things, according to the American Association of Orthodontists, are best left to the professionals.
They’re talking to you, consumers, if you’re tempted to go the cheap and lockdown-ready route by playing doctor to yourself. This isn’t a quarantine haircut, after all. And they’re specifically advising people not to buy teeth-straightening devices online.
The ads are targeting SmileDirectClub and other companies in the fast-growing teledentistry category with a fairly brutal takedown wrapped in some decent sight gags.
The [AAO] worked with St. Louis-based production company Coolfire Studios and its own seven-person in-house marketing team on the video series, which rolled out in May. It’s part of a larger campaign to address what the group calls “a dangerous trend” in the DTC space that bypasses “in-person care provided by trained experts” in favor of DIY orthodontia.
In the three months since this campaign was launched, the videos have received high engagement across platforms. The campaign contains social media and YouTube ads that target interested consumers and direct them to a branded landing page, driving home the messaging that the risks of not seeing an orthodontist in person are very real. In the past three months, this campaign has reached nearly 16 and a half million individuals and the parody videos have been viewed over 10 million times. Additionally, we have seen over 600 thousand engagements (clicks, comments, shares, reactions, etc.) on these promoted videos which have appeared online over 50 million times.
Prospective patients have also responded favorably to these videos. Reaction to the social media ads included:
- “Halle-freaking-lujah!! Please keep making these, I wish I had known about the horrors of direct to consumer orthodontics BEFORE I believed their lies…”
- “Savage! Love that associations are finally speaking sense into these direct to consumer health care…”
- “I’m glad the AAO decided to fight back!”
The all-digital Consumer Awareness Program is the only mass awareness campaign working to raise awareness among consumers about the benefits of orthodontic treatment provided by orthodontists, and promote orthodontists as specialists. Digital marketing platforms currently being utilized include paid search (Google, Yahoo! and Bing), website ads, social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat), email marketing, online video, and much more.
AAO online ads are behaviorally targeted, to individuals who are researching orthodontic treatment topics online. By bringing approximately 5 million consumers per year to the website, aaoinfo.org, the CAP educates consumers about orthodontists and the importance of getting treatment from an orthodontist. In addition, visitors to the website have the opportunity to locate nearby AAO members through the ‘Find an Orthodontist’ service.