Marketing Unplugged: No Needle No Scalpel Vasectomy


As one of the few women who listens to sports radio, I am privileged to get the inside look at male-oriented ads – frantic last minute flowers or pajama-grams on Valentine’s or Mother’s Day, the heartbreak of low-T (i.e. testosterone) or ED (erectile dysfunction).  This week a new ad appeared in heavy rotation – no needle, no scalpel vasectomy, offered by the Vasectomy Clinics of Chicago.

The voice over consisted of a satisfied customer casually dismissing the last contrived excuses for men reluctant to forever remove a ready supply of their DNA from the world’s gene pool.  The needle to inject local anesthesia – Gone! The scalpel to make the little nick to get at vas deferens – Gone!  It sounded like the Vasectomy Clinics of Chicago had a magic coagulating wand to wave over the groin.  No harm no foul.

Now here is a basic marketing tip for consumers in any venue.  If something sounds too good to be true, immediately request the fine print.  Anyone with even the slimmest grasp of male anatomy should realize that the skin has to be breached somehow, and if not with a sharp object – well then with what?

It turns out that the alternative to a needle is some sort of jet-propulsed spray that forces lidocaine through the skin.  C’mon boys, just do the needle, it’s nothing more than what you have experienced at the dentist or with the flu shot, and with a needle you can be sure you are getting adequate and accurate numbness, which in my mind should be priority one.

Now the scalpel bit.  Instead of a quick incision, the no scalpel vasectomy subs in a stabbing puncture wound.  On YouTube the wound looks like it is about the size of a pencil and is made with a pair of curved forceps applied with muscled force. Once through, the forceps stretch the wound even further until the vas can be grasped and pulled out into the light of day through the puncture hole.  Then guess what, the vas is severed with a scalpel!  And then of course there is the opposite side.

The other thing that is not mentioned is the shaving.  Yes, the scrotum, both sides, should be as smooth as a baby’s butt.  The clinic states that the patient can do his own prep work, but if not, the deed will be done in the office.  And chances are the task will fall to a distracted and rough-handed nurse wielding a dull razor.  The final disturb point, and the one that is likely a greater psychological hurdle than the proximity of sharp objects and genitalia, is the fondling of the testicles as the procedure is done.  This simply cannot be avoided.  Okay, fondling is too strong a word, but the man-berries will be handled, at the very least like an old Greek man casually massaging a string of jumbo-sized worry beads.

Now normally I would object to such a virtuoso performance of marketing dissembling, but in this case, I feel that the cause is just.  Simple, safe, permanent, men assuming responsibility.  I hope that that sugar-coating no needle no scalpel vasectomy is just the tipping point needed.










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