Why do they advertise ERs on billboards?

This falls into the category of things that baffle me…  Driving along I-355 in Chicago I noticed a large billboard advertising some local hospital.  The gist of the ad was that there is no waiting in their ER.  Now, this was maybe 3 hours ago but I already forgot the name of the hospital.  And what value does that billboard provide?  If I’m heading to a hospital’s ER, it is because I’m either hurt real bad or I’m in the back of an ambulance.  In either case, I’m heading to the closest damn hospital.

What is the biggest difference between an ambulance and a taxi? You can’t tell the ambulance where to take you.  It’s going to the hospital it services.

And if I’m heading to a hospital any other way, I’m going to the closest hospital I know and not to the hospital I have to Google the directions to, hoping to remember the name of that one place that promised no waiting in their ER.

So, dear hospital, the one that advertises on I-355 whatever your name may be, please save your money and try to direct your advertising budget towards things that really matter to your patients, things like making sure that saving lives does not cost an arm and a leg in the end.

Lotus Notes advertising on Google

I just couldn’t resist mentioning this..

So I was reading an email from one of my clients in my Gmail account.  The email mentioned Lotus Notes and Google, of course, obligingly put up some relevant advertisement along the right side of my screen.  The only ad said something about France Telecom signing with Lotus for some public service. Intrigued, I clicked on the {Link}…  October 20, 1992?!  Come on!  Google, how did that score highly on your relevance chart?!

Should I control when my commercial is played?

Not sure why I’m on this marketing/advertising kick…  Perhaps, I’m spending too much time reading Seth Godin.  Perhaps, it’s my daughter’s addiction to TV shopping.

As a company, someone who had paid for 30 seconds of airtime, how much control do I have over when my commercial is being played?  I’m not talking about a specific time slot, but rather about what other commercials are being played or shown before and after my spot.  If I’m Chrysler trying to convince you, the listener, to buy a new Jeep.  And if I’m Merlin, the 200,000 mile shop, telling you to not waste money on a new car but rather invest in keeping your current car running longer.  Do we want our commercials to be played next to each other?  Are these messages mutually exclusive?  Or are they targeted  at such different segments of listeners that it doesn’t really matter?