Four Keys to Successful Legal Commercials
I’m not an attorney and I’ve never played one on TV, but I’ve seen lots of them pitching their firm in television commercials. I can tell you for sure that most of the time I don’t like what I see. It makes me uncomfortable, like the time Roseanne Barr sang the national anthem. I have nothing against lawyers, in fact a large percentage of my closest friends are lawyers. However, being a lawyer and being a television spokesperson for your law firm are two very different things.
Just because you’re a lawyer doesn’t make you the best spokesperson for the firm. Ryan Seacrest of American Idol fame is a silky-smooth host who is wonderful in front of a camera. However, I wouldn’t want Ryan Seacrest making the closing argument in my defense at a murder trial. You get the picture. We all have our strengths and our limitations.
Over the years, we’ve worked with lawyers in various areas of custom video production and have come up with four key elements to successful legal commercials:
- Credibility: The lawyer or firm must be able to communicate a genuine, personal honesty and passion to help those who have been wronged.
- A Story is Told: The “story” could profile the attorney and his motivation to serve clients or detail a specific client’s case that led to a positive resolution.
- High Quality Video Production: The look and “feel” of a commercial non-verbally communicates so many different messages to a viewer. Pristine video is the product of detailed planning, professionally coordinated lighting, shot composition, and color correction. Nothing good comes easy and that holds true in video production. If you spend 30 minutes taping a commercial, you’ll get a commercial that looks like it took 30 minutes to produce.
- Call to Action: A successful legal commercial must include a client offer or direction to obtain more information. It may be as simple as a website address or it could be a specific product-related offering which provides value to the potential client.
Here’s an example of how we combined these elements for attorney Brian Prim. A large percentage of Brian’s cases deal with victims suffering from the fatal disease of Mesothelioma. There are a number of national firms who solicit cases involving Mesothelioma. Their shotgun approach can be termed impersonal and corporate. Prim’s approach is completely opposite; he builds relationships and becomes an advocate for the victims and their families. Those relationships last long after a settlement has been reached or a verdict returned.
Rather than forcing Brian to deliver scripted comments, we conducted a long form interview that allowed him to be totally natural and confident as he addressed his passion of caring for victims of Mesothelioma. The result is a commercial that contains all four keys mentioned above, and one that directly led to an increase in the number of Mesothelioma cases at Prim Law.
You’ve seen our four keys to successful legal commercials; do you have any others that you think are essential? Let us know.