Pop culture is littered with references to ominous phone calls from hospitals and unpleasant doctor appointments. Be it Bollywood or the numerous ads for health insurance that play out on our television screens, illness is serious business. Doctor discovery and appointment platform Practo, fresh from a round of funding where it raised $90 million in August, has decided to break away from that mould. Laughter, it has decided, is not only the best medicine but is also the best way to build the brand.
Around five months ago, it used a series of hilarious situations to drive home the problems people go through when looking for doctors and fixing appointments. "We want to take away the anxiety that surrounds healthcare and hence decided to use an element of humour. We've received phenomenal response, which means consumers are appreciating our approach," said Shashank ND, founder and CEO, Practo. The company's website reportedly saw a six to eight fold increase in hits after the ad went on air. The company says it has over 200,000 healthcare professionals and 10,000 hospitals on its platform. The company also recently announced that it had made 40 million appointments so far making it the biggest platform of its kind in the world.
Since it is trying to tickle the viewers' funny bone, is it targeting a young audience? Not really says the company. Health is a universal concern, even more so for the elderly. "We are building a global product that everyone can use, so there really wasn't a specific effort to target the younger audience," Shashank said.
Humour also eases anxiety, which Practo hopes would encourage people to get over their apprehension of using an online service to book their appointments. The idea is to evoke a smile rather than scare people into downloading the app.