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Lawyer Commercials On Tv: A Worthwhile Investment?

By Expert Author: Stam Bett

Some of the best unintentional comedy on television can be found in the strange and often disturbing world of lawyer commercials on TV. The landmark Bates v. State Bar of Arizona case secured lawyers the right to advertise their services, but when you look at some of the insane ads that lawyers have put out there, you might wish there was some way to put the genie back in the bottle. Of course, given the public’s propensity for exaggerating the negative, the situation isn’t quite as bad as you might think: while there are indeed many lawyer commercials on TV that make a laughingstock of the entire legal profession, there are still plenty out there that bring in clients instead of ridicule.

It’s not such a huge paradox if you think about it. We don’t live in a cartoon world where people do things that don’t work over and over again just because it’s funny to watch them fail: the fact that there are still lawyer commercials on TV at all is a testament to the fact that they can get positive results. There’s a formula to piercing the viewer’s veil of skepticism and getting their attention without pandering to them: a person’s choice of lawyer can change their life, for better or worse, and with the right approach, lawyer commercials on TV can help them make an informed decision.

First of all, let’s examine how not to make lawyer commercials on TV. Under normal circumstances, advertising is a no-holds-barred grudge match for the viewer’s eyes and ears, and advertisers pull out all the stops to make sure they win: jokes, jingles, skits, and even celebrity cameos are all fair game to use, and when the dust settles, the funniest, flashiest, or most outrageous commercial wins. This formula works for advertising just about anything – except legal services. Why the exception? The bottom line is, nobody wants a clown representing them in court. It might seem all in good fun, but what your prospective clients are going to see is you trivializing or making fun of their potentially life-changing legal issues. They don’t want a lawyer who will just take their case; they want a lawyer who will take their case seriously, and if your commercial suggests that you see your legal services as just a product to hawk, they’ll look elsewhere for legal assistance. You might end up famous, all right, but as just another viral video making the rounds on YouTube.

So the usual tricks and techniques for advertising don’t work. What are we left with? Standing in front of a bookcase and delivering a sales pitch? Not even remotely. For one thing, you don’t want to use a sales pitch – the whole point here is that you need to avoid looking like you’re trying to sell a product. Many commercials rely on the audience not quite understanding what they’re being sold: there’s not a beauty product out there that can “rejuvenate” the dead cells that make up your hair or your outer layer of skin, for one. Legal commercials therefore need to take the opposite tack: they need to educate the audience about why exactly they might need legal services in the first place. Many prospective clients may not even know they have legal recourse for violations of their rights or injuries inflicted by defective products or medicines – if they even realize they’ve been wronged in the first place. Your TV commercial can change that. The goodwill you’ll earn through this approach will not only bring clients to your door, but also help improve public opinion towards the legal profession.

An important thing to consider is that there’s only so much you can say in a 30-to-60-second ad spot. A good way to fill in the blanks is to set up a website with more detailed information and have your TV commercial direct prospective clients there for any questions they might have. With proper use of SEO techniques, you can even bring prospective clients to your website through search engines.

Legal commercials can reap dividends if done right, but if you’re not sure you can put together a successful advertising campaign all by yourself, don’t worry – you don’t have to go it alone. You can hire an advertising agency that specializes in legal marketing. The knowledge and expertise they provide can help you avoid newcomer mistakes and get the absolute most out of your advertising investment.

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