TV Commercials: Effective Lawyer Advertising? (Part A)

Think about the last time you really paid attention to TV commercials. It was probably during the Super Bowl where the ads are more about being the most shocking or entertaining, rather than what they're selling. Digital Video Recorders like, TiVo and Dish Network, let you record, pause and rewind live TV which also means that you can skip all those "annoying" television commercials that interrupt your programming.

So, what makes consumers think twice about pressing the fast-forward button through a TV commercial? Memorable, repetitive, funny, and/or shocking TV commercials are the ones that people remember and talk about the next day around the water cooler (or more likely, mention in a Facebook status update). Controversy and entertainment, just like news stories, are what make quality TV spots. Scantily-clad models playing games may sell beer and cars, but they're not the kind of image you want when thinking about lawyer advertising.

The Two Main Faces of Lawyer TV Ads

Think about the legal profession as a whole; it's not a source of fun entertainment. That's why there are so few legal sitcoms on TV, but so many legal dramas. The law does not usually lend itself well to light-hearted entertainment, so that leaves us with focusing on the more serious, dramatic side of court cases and litigation.

What this produces is typically a dry, "call me to have your case evaluated" TV commercial that works like a live-action Yellow Pages ad. It shows a lawyer in his sterile office setting, straight-faced and serious, giving you the same basic information that a much cheaper lawyer advertising solution could impart in less time and effort.

The other road left to travel is the dramatic option; TV commercials showing hospitalized accident victims, or depressed couples in divorce meetings...This type of legal marketing preys on the victims' emotions and forces the need to get a lawyer NOW down their throat. Not a very nice image for your friendly neighborhood lawyer, now is it?

Are either of these types of TV commercials memorable or entertaining? Probably not, and that means they're not going to be effective lawyer advertising strategies to attract your clients.

There's more to be said about TV commercials as lawyer advertising strategies besides just the content. Continue reading for thoughts on pricing and effectiveness of this marketing medium.

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Ben Glass
Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.