You’ve reached the pinnacle of bankruptcy law firm marketing: the television ad. From the time you first started out in the business, you’ve dreamed of seeing your law firm advertised on TV, reaching millions of viewers, establishing you as a celebrity—the foremost attorney in your field.

Unfortunately, a television campaign may no longer be the advertising juggernaut it once was. While it is still relatively easy to record and produce an ad, the TV market is constantly changing, affecting the reach of your message—and many of your customers may never see the ad you worked so hard (and paid so much) to promote.

Here are the biggest problems facing TV advertising today:

  1. Limitless channels. There are no longer a handful of channels to choose from. Cable and satellite hookups make it possible to receive hundreds of channels, making it less likely that people will see your ad on one of the few local stations.
  2. Limited attention. In response to viewers’ shrinking attention spans, TV commercials are getting shorter and shorter, putting pressure on advertisers to create an effective message in as little as 15 seconds.
  3. The commercial “break.” Viewers rarely sit through commercials, opting to go to the kitchen or bathroom during the break. You have a limited window in which to grab your prospect’s interest, make an appeal, and get him to remember you—all while he isn’t paying attention.
  4. Alternate viewing options. TVs and computers are increasingly working together, giving rise to commercial-eliminating devices (such as TiVo and Netflix) that allow viewers to see programs without any ads at all.Do television ads work for bankruptcy law firm's?

Despite these issues, some firms still believe in the power of television, spending millions on TV spots that rarely reach their customers. Some even cling to canned ads that are little more than five-second billboards on the TV, running them as many times as their budget will allow just to “get the firm’s name out there.”

In order to compete in the TV market, you must find a way to stay ahead of its changes. You must identify which of these problems will prevent you from reaching your customer, and find a way to remove the obstacle. For instance, if your key demographic watches TV on a computer, a YouTube or other online ad for your firm would be a much better use of your budget.

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