The Worst Law Firm Commercials & How to Do Better

Law firm commercials present to the world a perfect storm of terrible advertising. Local video producers looking to “make their mark,” lawyers who insist on appearing on camera despite having the on-camera experience of an Amish farmer, and low-budget video techniques that would make your local high school’s newscast feel good.

But of course, this doesn’t stop law firms from making commercials that alone could serve as slander against themselves. Here are 10 of the worst law firm commercials we could find:

 

Jamie Casino

Football fans in Savannah, GA, were treated to this 2 minute commercial during the 2014 Super Bowl, but it didn’t take long for the commercial to spread like fire on a sledgehammer across the vast information superhighway. As crazy and out-there as it is, it’s actually pretty well-made and might even help clear his brother’s name, if that was his real goal with the video.

 

Brown and Crouppen

Aaron Sorkin walk-and-talk aside, these non-actors do a decent job of making me think, “Hey, maybe they’ve got the muscle and talent to get me the money I deserve.”

But then I start to wonder if “muscle” actually helps in a court of law, and if it does, why bodybuilders aren’t more involved in the judicial system, and if they offer weight-lifting classes at law schools, and wait, why do I need a lawyer again?

 

Turn Your Pain Into Rain

Gotta give credit where credit is due. A catchy slogan and a clear, focused commercial makes this a halfway decent advertisement. But the melodrama of watching a judge bang his gavel on what appears to be a stack of sticky notes, followed by the, uhh…racially specific lawyer teams each reacting to the verdict is just too chuckle-worthy to ignore.

The lawyers handle themselves fairly well on camera, even if they have enough headroom to comfortably fit a Carmen Miranda-style hat of fruit in the frame.

 

The One-Take Wonder

And by “One Take Wonder” we mean “the only take we could afford so if you mess up just take a deep breath and keep going.”

 

Call Flint!

If a bad rap song wasn’t enough to stink this commercial up, the creators were savvy enough to add 3D animation that probably would’ve gotten no higher than a B in any beginner 3D animation class.

 

Take My Wife, Please!

These guys weren’t satisfied with just putting J. Michael Gallagher’s name out there as someone who could help you out if you’re going through a divorce. No, they went one step further to encourage couples to race to the phone to call a lawyer on their sack-of-potatoes spouse and ruin their New Year.

We get that as a divorce lawyer you make money on other people’s tears, heartache, and embarrassment, but to exploit divorce as if it’s a game of revenge just feels wrong.

“Wait, did you say take their lav mics off before they tackle each other over the phone? Ah, my bad guys. My bad. We can still use it, right?”

 

Berger & Green: DISFIGUREMENT

You know what’s a great way to get the attention of recently injured/disfigured viewers who surely suffered some kind of traumatic experience? If you guessed “a flying inferno of cars and metal that would make Michael Bay proud”, you’re likely a terrible person. Or Larry Green–of “BRG-er” and Green.

 

Pay Me Now!

I was glad to learn that the bald, careless, heavy-set man we’re watching is most likely not the same “Denvil Crowe” that I’d be calling to represent me in a court of law, but I imagine most people wouldn’t have the faith to believe that ol’ Denvil is any more professional than this commercial is good. And that’s not even mentioning the tone-deaf backup singers.

 

This Guy…

This horrifically racist commercial caused some serious trouble when it first went viral back in 2013. Fortunately, it’s the work of a rogue, aspiring commercial artist who WAS NOT hired by the law firm in question, but it doesn’t prevent the fact that it was actually thought up, filmed, edited, and uploaded without the guy thinking at any point that it was a really bad idea.


 

There you have it, 10 of the worst law firm commercials out there. Joking aside, I imagine many of the these lawyers are perfectly good at their jobs, but these commercials are possibly the last thing that would help convince audiences of that.

Now what, might you ask, should you include in a law firm commercial to make it beneficial for your image? Great question. Here’s 3 things to consider when putting together your law firm commercial:

 

Clear Message

You’ll notice many of the commercials listed above and found elsewhere involve some guy standing in front of the camera reading some monologue they wrote about why the viewer should hire them for their case. This makes perfect sense since many lawyers stand in front of people and plead their case on a daily basis. They’re probably really good at it.

While these tactics might work in front of a jury or judge who are strongly obligated to listen to said lawyers, it doesn’t work so much for 30-second TV commercials, where catching people’s attention and delivering a clear message are critical. This guy here is a perfect example of not doing either.

More effective law firm commercials like this one may also involve a talking head, but manages to catch the viewer’s attention with the sad music and guy crying in front of them, and then deliver the clear message: there are some cases even we can’t win. It’s funny, memorable, and we wouldn’t be surprised if it was very effective in driving potential clients to their firm.

 

Production Value

As tempting as it is to go cheap when hiring a production team to film your commercial, a poorly made commercial reflects badly on your firm’s brand, image, and maybe even your ability to be an effective lawyer. But that doesn’t mean you need to spend an arm and a leg to get your commercial made.

Quality video equipment is more accessible than ever before, and good editing programs aren’t too hard to find. All you really need is a savvy filmmaker with the talent and ingenuity to make the most of the money they’re budgeted with. Teenagers and 20-somethings are making quality videos every day on YouTube and we doubt they have a colossal budget to do so. This commercial here is a great example of a professional looking ad that likely didn’t break the bank to make.

This doesn’t mean you should go cheap, just that your money can go a lot further than you might think. However, if your filmmaker suggests any sort of 3D computer-generated animation in your commercial then we’d recommend walking away on the spot.

 

Put Your Ego Aside

You’re probably an ace in the courtroom with years of experience writing up compelling arguments for just about anything. But this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re similarly effective in front of the camera. Listen to your marketing and filmmaking team; their expertise and insight will be extremely beneficial to you and your firm.

By | 2018-06-15T16:25:52+00:00 June 15th, 2018|Law Firm Marketing|0 Comments

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