The worst migraine in L.A.

This is one of my most favorite public relations ideas I’ve ever had, and it gets a great reaction every time I tell someone about it.

My wife came home from our dentist, back when we lived in Los Angeles. She told me our dentist remembered I worked in advertising and wanted to know if I could help him market his migraine relief treatment. FYI, many people get migraines due to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.

We met, we talked, we looked at he and his competition were doing. His treatment cost patients between $3,000 and $4,000 and wasn’t covered by most health insurance. But Los Angeles is a stressful town filled with people with huge headaches and lots of money.

What I came up with was a publicity stunt that would get a ton of attention, and just as important – create a database of migraine sufferers who need his help. We’d search for THE PERSON WITH THE WORST MIGRAINE IN LOS ANGELES. And we’d treat that person for free.

A stunt like this is made for local TV news:

Think you got the worst migraine in L.A.? Dr. <name withheld> not only wants to know about you. He wants to help you get rid of your migraines. And he’ll do it for free.

We’d direct people to send us their migraine stories through a new website. Build a database of migraine sufferers. Interview the most promising candidates. Choose two or three to treat for free. And video tape their personal stories along with their treatment.

In a few months we’d have our “Worst Migraine in L.A.” success story. Get it back on local TV news. Then start calling back all the people in his database of migraine sufferers. Plus we’d field calls from new prospects coming in from the followup story on the local news.

But my client wasn’t ready for something like this and it never happened. Too bad, I think it would have helped promote his practice better than what he’s been doing.



Posted at 9:48 pm on Sun, Jan 9, 2011

Hollywood sign photo: Sarahmichael
TV news set photo: Kymberly Janisch

About Robert Moss

I write ads: traditional, non-traditional, interactive, edutainment, story-based, broadcast, and experiential marketing events. Sometimes I write about ads and the business of advertising. Sometimes I write about other stuff. The views expressed here are solely my own and don't reflect the views of my employers. I also published a novel called Descending Memphis that's getting great reviews on Amazon. see
This entry was posted in Advertising, Public Relations and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s