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Lawyer Tv Ads: Getting The Most For Your MoneyBy Expert Author: Stam Bett
Television is the undisputed king of advertising media – and consequently, TV advertising commands a king’s ransom. With an estimated 97% of US households relying on TV for information and entertainment, everyone wants a piece of the TV advertising pie, and the price for ad spots goes up according to the law of supply and demand. TV advertising therefore poses both great reward and great risk: while TV advertising is the most cost-effective way to reach a large audience, a failed TV advertising campaign can be financially ruinous. Legal practices have even more at stake: while lawyer TV ads can catapult once-unknown firms into stardom, they can also destroy careers if executed poorly.
Lawyer TV ads are a powerful and cost-effective way for lawyers to bring in clients, but even over 30 years after the landmark Bates v. State Bar of Arizona case, they are still a controversial subject: many believe that legal advertising “cheapens the profession,” and with all the terrible lawyer TV ads making the rounds on YouTube, it’s easy to see where they have a point. It’s all too easy to make lawyer TV ads that paint a bad picture of your practice, but with some effort – not to mention a few common sense tips – you can follow in the footsteps of other lawyers who have made TV advertising work for them.
First things first: if you’re going to invest in TV advertising, you need to be ready for a long-term commitment. If you’re not planning to run your ad over a long duration – i.e. the entire life of your practice – you might as well not run it at all. You might look at your caseload, nod to yourself in satisfaction, and decide you can safely pull the plug on your advertising, but think again: your competition isn’t going to stop advertising just because you do, and when their ads fill the void you’ve opened up for them, your clients – both potential and current – will start going to them instead. And if viewers stop seeing your ad, there’s nothing stopping them from assuming you’ve gone out of business – or simply forgetting about you and your practice entirely. TV advertising isn’t a magic bullet: it’s a treadmill, and once you’ve made up your mind to start running ads, you need to be prepared to keep running ads, or you’ll be in for a swift and painful fall.
Here’s another piece of useful advice: “know thy enemy.” Just because they’re your competitors doesn’t mean you can’t learn from them: pay close attention to their TV advertising and note their strengths and weaknesses. Study how they present themselves, how they make their sales pitches, how they present their contact information, etc.: every detail is important to making a successful TV commercial. The important thing is to stand out from your competition: it pays to borrow what works, but your commercial should also have its own unique touch that sets it apart from everyone else. And if you’re inspired to try something that no one else has done before, great – just make sure it doesn’t run afoul of legal advertising regulations. Once you have a script, it’s a good idea to run it by the bar association before you go into production: it’s better to catch mistakes before you start shooting than afterward.
Finally, if you’re still not sure about you can handle all the ins and outs of legal advertising on your own, try hiring an advertising agency to help, especially one that’s affiliated with major legal associations. The knowledge and expertise they can provide will help you avoid costly mistakes and get the absolute most out of your TV advertising.
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