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Brilliantly Confusing Lawyer Ad Brings Viral Fame, More Business?

By William Peacock, Esq. | Last updated on

My first reaction to this ad was, "Huh?" You'll probably react that way as well. Heck, the entire Internet already did.

AdWeek first highlighted Scott Hoy's commercial earlier this month. Yesterday, he took the final spot on their list of the "25 Biggest Brand Fails of 2013," and earlier this month, late night television host Jimmy Fallon mocked the commercial on national television.

That's obviously a lot of exposure, but is this a case of good-bad publicity?

Confusing Commercial

Here's the commercial in question:

If watching that video leaves you confused, well, you aren't alone -- it went viral for a reason.

Here's the transcript:

"We've seen a series of one-car accidents recently, involving rollovers and serious injuries to passengers. I don't know if it's video games or what, but it's so unfair to, after something like this, to blame people in the back seat or say they deserved it. I don't like consoling these parents about what's happened. But I'll do it until it's stopped. Will you please stop. I'm Scott Hoy."

Hoy told the Argus Leader that he's been writing his own commercials for 20 years and suspects that trimming the commercial from 39 seconds to 30 seconds caused the confusion. Nonetheless, he seems to be handling the newfound fame well.

Good for Business?

We can only speculate on the effect the commercial will have on his bottom line, but how many millions of people have now heard the name Scott Hoy?

It would be one thing if the contents of the commercial were offensive, like that miserable racist law firm ad from late last month. That ad likely did an incalculable amount of damage to the firm's reputation (whether or not they actually commissioned it).

Hoy's ad was confusing, and yet, some might also say argue that it is endearing. Even Fallon's late-night mocking of the lawyer and his ad had a jovial tone. We'll all laugh at (or with) Hoy after his 30-second screed about video games, consoling parents, and single-car rollovers, but he seems to genuinely care about the injured parties and the ad has gone viral.

As far as commercials go, you could do a lot worse.

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