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In Your Face

Cross your fingers, hold your breath . . . and put out ads with no holds barred.

This story appears in the October 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The company behind the ad shown here decided to send subtlety on sabbatical for this effort, and it gets an A+ in my book. I doubt there could be a more powerful, compelling way it could have imparted the chief sales message about its product, TheraSeed.

Briefly, TheraSeed treatment is an alternative to going under the knife to treat prostate cancer. It involves the implantation of radioactive seeds in the prostate to destroy tumors. (Squint, and you'll see a tiny speck about two-thirds down the ad page--that's a Thera-"Seed.") The point of the ad is to compare this relatively simple, minimally invasive procedure to the more common and maximally invasive one of surgical removal of the prostate. And what could be a more riveting way to grab attention for this comparison than to show the scariest symbol of surgery, a scalpel? The mere sight of one makes you wince, and that's just what the Buford, Georgia, company, Theragenics Corp., intended.

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