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Exam room paper

If you’re always on the lookout for coupons, you probably know to keep your eyes open at the doctor’s office. They often have stacks of high-value coupons for various health care products that are free for the taking (and if you never see any at your doctor’s office – maybe you need a new doctor).

But you’ve probably never seen doctor’s office coupons quite like this – imprinted on the roll of paper that covers the examination table.

Intriguing? Or kind of icky?

Thankfully, these coupons come in the form of QR codes, so you don’t actually have to clip anything from the paper that plays host to people’s posteriors.

A newly-published patent application describes the product, which is actually already being marketed under the name “Dr. Scribbles”. A couple of Cincinnati-area mothers and entrepreneurs came up with the idea to imprint puzzles, games and other distractions on exam room paper to keep kids busy in the pediatrician’s office.

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The coupon component is something that’s meant to appeal to the kids’ parents. Companies can pay to have advertisements imprinted on the paper, complete with a QR code that can be scanned with a smartphone. Companies can “promote products using value-added experiences,” the patent application suggests, or “offer instant coupons for food and product categories highlighted by health facts.”

If the doctor’s office seems like a strange place to whip out your phone in search of coupons, it’s certainly not the strangest. That award has to go to the makers of Star Toilet Paper.

Founded by a couple of college entrepreneurs, Star Toilet Paper is just what you probably figure – toilet paper imprinted with ads and coupons. Thankfully, once again, these coupons are also in the form of scannable QR codes, so you don’t actually have to stuff sheets of TP into your pocket and try to redeem them in a store.

When you consider how many ads and discount offers you’re exposed to on a daily basis, the majority of which you probably tune out, offering advertisers the ability to market their message to a captive audience is kind of ingenious if you think about it. If you’re idling in an exam room, or a bathroom stall, why not seize the opportunity to scan some coupons while you’re – well, sitting around?

Now if only they’d start offering coupons at the DMV. But then there are some long waits that even coupons probably can’t turn into a pleasant experience.

Image source: Dr. Scribbles

One Comment

  1. I found a high value Tylenol coupon in a fever pamphlet at the pediatricians office.

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