How to navigate the Dr. Oz Effect

How to navigate the Dr. Oz Effect

On a panel discussion at Natural Products Expo East 2012, we discussed and explored all things Dr. Oz—what ingredients and companies have been featured, how they’ve capitalized on the Oz magic mention, how you can engage with Dr. Oz show producers to get on TV, and best-in-class ingredients that science and the zeitgeist ought to lift to renewed life—if they only had an industry champion. Like Dr. Oz.

If you didn't attend, here’s a glimpse into some of the good advice and wise counsel that was dispensed. 

What Dr. Oz wants

  1. Science (he does have an advanced degree)
  2. Personality (this is television, after all)
  3. Props (really—this is television!). These can be a fellow doctor, a baked good, a consumer in distress.

Previous winners of the Dr. Oz Effect include astaxanthin, coconut sugar, sea buckthorn, African mango, 7-keto, L-carnosine, raspberry ketones, and hemp.

What does winning look like?

For astaxanthin supplier Cyanotech, it meant a doubling of capacity at their facility in Hawaii. For NOW Foods, it meant sales that skyrocketed 10 times what they were—and they’re still that way six months later.

For coconut sugar, savvy manufacturer Big Tree Farms immediately got on the PR wagon to promote its wares to the world, including Search Engine Optimized (SEO) language in the lands of social media. For retailers, it meant end caps promoting the latest Dr. Oz-annointed product.

Oh, but there are caveats aplenty. Because Dr. Oz does not sell any products and does not want his name connected to any such sales efforts, he has developed a set of rules. And he’s not afraid to have his team of lawyers enforce them. These include:

  • As the acai folks can attest, you cannot use the name of the show or Dr. Oz’s legal name or likeness in any promotional materials.
  • You may not send a press release.
  • You may link to the Web clip of the segment you’ve appeared in, if it’s available. Dr. Oz doesn’t release clips from its show other than its website.
  • After the show airs, any reference must come down within 48 hours.
  • You can post something on your website leading up to the air date, but language must be approved by the show.

Bummer, right? But here’s what you can do:

  • Get creative—have segments ready to watch
  • Engage with customers
  • Use it as a talking point
  • Put up an end cap so they are easy to find
  • Post and tag on Facebook
  • Blog about it or post in context in your newsletters
  • Order the product—keep in mind: the show will re-air!
  • Have a sale—you don’t have to use his name; it’s also the products people are recognizing and wanting to buy.

In the case of Beanitos, they had been pitching the idea to the Dr. Oz show for two years. When the show producers finally decided the time was ripe, the company had all of five days’ notice. Yikes!

Retailers, get savvy

Or, they would have had zip if all they did was watch TV all afternoon. Instead, be savvy with these social tips:

  • Become an Oz Fan on Facebook
  • Follow Oz on Twitter
  • Become a Friend of Oz on MySpace
  • Help your community at HealthCorps
  • Follow Dr. Oz on Pinterest

Do you have experience working with the Oz? Tells us in the comments.  

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