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Maniacal Marketing: The Best and Worst Law Firm Ads

By William Peacock, Esq. | Last updated on

Creating a unique and inspiring law firm commercial seems to be a lost art nowadays. Nothing is more disappointing than seeing a lawyer advertisement with VHS camcorder video quality or a thirty-second spot of a guy standing in front of a bookcase talking about how he helps his clients.

Then again, if it weren't for 2 a.m. ambulance chaser ads, what would we mock at 2 p.m. on a blog?

The point is this: if you're going to do a television ad, do it right. Clients don't want to be wooed by some sleazy guy talking about getting you compensation for injuries. Do they sell Pepsi by saying, "Gee. This soda is really swell!"? No. They tickle a kitten or hit someone with a bus.

Back in law school, we spent nights watching a local attorney's commercials and laughing uproariously. His ads were inspirational. And by inspirational, we mean inspired drinking games. Every time we thought we saw something crawling in his beard, or whenever he moaned mid-word, we drank.

We didn't analyze his ads at the time, but now we have to question what message he was trying to send. Did potential customers see the ad, watch possums crawl in his Stonewall Jackson-esque facial hear, and think, "This guy is a winner. I want him to represent me?"

We're not saying to shave. That doesn't mean you have to be in the ad, however. And let's focus on the real issues. How about some graphic car accident footage? How about some surgical footage? Show us the pain and suffering. Don't tell us.

Speaking of showing, and not telling, here are a couple great examples.

Rockin' out with CK bros. Something about this ad makes us want to do a keg stand while watching these guys dominate the legal industry, then sue the keg maker once we fall and hurt our necks.

Also, can't you just see these two teaming up with Eddie Murphy to fight crime? Cue the faux-Zeppelin and massive firefight. Speaking of action movies, check out this swag:

You see that? His eyes bare into your soul, searching for your innermost secrets. Imagine being cross-examined by that guy. Pure, unadulterated swag and intimidation.

In all seriousness though, the ad is memorable, and one of those guys used to be an NFL player. If I have a choice between Stonewall Jackson and a former football player, I'm going go with the Swag Bros, especially if they show up to court in an Escalade with bouncers.

Your advertising doesn't need special effects or frightening facial hair. It should convey your firm's brand clearly and show, not tell, why you are the best firm for the client.

It also helps to have a short, memorable web address that clients can go to for more information. The Swag Bros do. Today's client goes online to research before calling a firm. Your web presence should reflect that.

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