If your laboratory routinely uses a particular product and you are interested in keeping your advertising costs down, co-op ads may be an ideal option. Just as the name implies, in co-op advertising a laboratory and manufacturer or distributor jointly finance ad costs. The manufacturer or distributor benefits by a having a laboratory promote its product, while the laboratory simultaneously advertises its name.
In a recent co-op effort in Contemporary Esthetics, Billy Drake, owner of Drake Precision Dental Laboratory in Charlotte, North Carolina, inserted a reply card next to a manufacturer's ad. The ad promoted the product, while Drake's card let readers know his laboratory provided the service that uses that product and offered free information. Drake paid $4,000, which was the total cost of designing, printing and placing the card.
Drake also recently participated in a co-op ad with five other laboratories and one manufacturer. "The labs are geographically noncompetitive," says Drake. The ad, which listed all six laboratory names, ran three times and cost a total of $7,500. The manufacturer picked up half of the tab; the six laboratories split the remainder. As a result, Drake paid just $600 to have his laboratory advertised three separate times.