Healthcare Marketing: CAPTCHA as a Marketing Tool

Those annoying CAPTCHAs may soon be a viable advertising medium delivering a captive audience

You know those CAPTCHAs.  They are annoying and time consuming.  And most of the time very difficult to decipher.  CAPTCHAs, Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart, are those squiggly, indecipherable text strings websites require you to discern and type to gain access and provide security.  They protect websites against bots by generating and grading text that humans can read but current computer programs cannot. But now they can become a branding tool.

Solve Media is a new start-up company that is offering the opportunity to substitute those hard to read texts with clear concise words that can be a brand or product name.  So instead of typing in words or a series of letters that mean nothing, you can be forced to type the name of a brand or product. What a captive audience! And what a way to get consumers to type your brand or product, which is much better than just seeing it.

Of course it’s not free.  Advertisers will be required to buy the words on various sites.  The company is currently pitching it to major brands and advertisers.  The anticipated cost will be 25 -50 cents for each time a consumer types in your brand or product.  Seems rather expensive.  The revenue will be split with the website publisher.

The idea requires the consumer to be engaged and actually type the name of the brand or product, which the company claims, will increase recall. It does not provide a link to the advertisers website or a video or an ad for the advertiser.  The value is simply creating recall by the consumer seeing and typing the name.

What a novel idea. What a potentially promising advertising venue.  It’s early, so no one knows if the company will get traction or if brand and product managers will adopt it as a viable option.  But it does point out two things.  The first one is that branding happens everywhere. It’s omnipresent and ubiquitous. Nothing is sacred or off-limits if it can possibly give a brand or product an advantage.  The second is that advertising and branding is only limited by the boundaries of our creativity. New and exciting advertising opportunities appear almost daily.  The proliferation of media is seemingly endless.

Which means, as health care marketers, we must always be open to new opportunities.  And we must use our imagination and creativity to discover new but effective ways to market our brand.


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