Fla. animal hospital using comedy to increase spay/neuter appointments

They say that laughter is the best medicine, but one Florida animal hospital is proving that laughter might also be the best marketing tactic.

Eau Gallie Veterinary Hospital in Melbourne, Fla., has been receiving national media attention and increasing spay/neuter appointments with its signs displaying messages such as "No hump Wednesdays 10% off spay and neuter."

According to Gemma Millar, the hospital’s office manager who has been updating the humorous messages for about six months, the signs were an attempt to promote the benefits of spaying and neutering in a funny manner that might capture more attention than traditional tactics.

"We just wanted to get the message across to our local residents about the importance of spaying and neutering and just preventive care in general in a way that catches people's attention versus just a normal message, which most people just don't pay attention to. We wanted to do it in a way that catches their eye," she said.

The effort has paid off, as the signs have attracted new clients and even wooed two new clients away from their previous veterinarians.

"They (new clients) said they've appreciated the sense of humor. And we actually had two I know of who left their vet because they thought that because of our signs, we were more down to earth and not uptight. So they decided to switch because of the signs," Millar said.

Millar noted that the original purpose of her signs is also being fulfilled, as she has noticed an increase in the number of spay/neuter appointments at the hospital.

The signs have captured the attention of more than just local drivers. In the project's first six months, she said the hospital has been featured on Good Morning America twice and on local news stations three times. There have also been articles in the Huffington Post as well as the local newspaper, Millar said.

Although the somewhat risque signs have received overwhelming positive feedback, Millar said the hospital has received complaints from only two people.

"I've only had two people actually call here and say they were offended by them out of thousands and thousands of positive responses, Millar said.

Millar said that judging from the acclaim the hospital has garnered from the signs, she thinks other veterinary clinics would be well-served to get more creative with their marketing efforts.

"I encourage people to step outside the box," she said.

More signs from Eau Gallie Veterinary Hospital

  • Live nude dogs! Free lap dances!
  • We like big mutts and we can not lie
  • If you don't talk to your cat about catnip, who will?
  • Neutering your pet makes them less nuts.
  • Neuter your pets, weird friends, and relatives

NEWStat Interesting/unusual