Forget the billboard wars. The battle for the best (and worst) lawyer Super Bowl commercials is upon us. A handful of law firms, especially within the realm of personal injury law, will once again compete for that “Best Lawyer Super Bowl Commercial” title.
Why Make a Super Bowl Commercial?
A lot of the hype around producing a Super Bowl commercial for a law firm is less about appearing on TV and more about parlaying big event exposure into prolonged YouTube engagement and views. These are the heavy hitters that are pouring in $100,000 plus to produce an ad — and finding a budget for airtime, too.
But let’s remember, these lawyers aren’t just seeking to build on a new or existing TV and online lawyer persona. They are looking to appeal to those clients who will only be captured and reeled in by the louder, the faster and the funnier. And as you might have gathered, it doesn’t have to be “good” to get you remembered.
(Read what the experts from the LMA say here.)
Turn Your Commercials into Killer Serials
Some lawyers create a recurring ad series. They build their audience by dangling the carrot with teasers before the big game day, and going big before kickoff even arrives. Here are examples.
Attorney Jamie Casino (actually his legal name), based in Georgia, hit big with his 2014 commercial, which launched this series. His 2018 sledgehammer-swinging demolition party of an ad targets personal injury lawyers who prey on victims. He’s looking to be the vigilante. With over 1 million YouTube views, he’s gained some street cred.
Darryl Isaacs, “The Hammer”
Darryl Isaacs, a big truck accident lawyer known as “The Hammer” among clients in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio, became an internet sensation thanks to his back-to-back Super Bowl commercials in 2017 and 2018. Isaacs’ 2018 Super Bowl commercial went viral with over 5 million views, garnering local and national media attention and propelling “Zombies vs. Dragon” into the lawyer advertising spotlight. The over-the-top 60-second Super Bowl ad featured zombies, dragons and a slew of cinematic visual effects.
In his 2019 ad, Isaacs takes on many forms in a battle against the biggest and baddest villains that have plagued mankind since the beginning of time: Big Insurance. The 60-second superhero-themed commercial travels through medieval and modern times — and Isaacs appears as not one, but three different superheroes. The visual and special effects, along with the stunt work performed by Isaacs and famous American wrestler and stuntman Luke Hawx, should not be missed.
Don’t Talk About Law, Just Yell at a Billionaire
Now and then a lawyer will create a Super Bowl ad that really has nothing to do with their practice. They just want to send a message and be known for sending it. That’s what the Brown & Crouppen law firm did in 2016.
Attorney Terry Crouppen’s ad, which has received over 630,000 YouTube views, was aimed at calling out billionaire Rams owner Stan Kroenke for leaving St. Louis and migrating to Los Angeles. That blue, white and gold NFL team is now confirmed in the spotlight this year against the Patriots. Crouppen spends no time pitching his law firm in the ad, but it certainly sounds like a cry for football justice.
It May Not Be True, It May Not Even Air During the Super Bowl
Starting a rumor, stirring controversy and publishing it all in a video to perhaps be aired during the big game? Maybe. Maybe not. That’s the strategy this dog bite law firm took up.
Kenneth M. Phillips
This is an example of a video making the rounds on several YouTube channels. Beverly Hills, California, dog bite attorney Kenneth M. Phillips has about 6,000 views on his firm’s own YouTube channel, while the same video uploaded by other users has so far garnered at least another 30,000 views. We had to confirm via Snopes.com that it never even aired during the Super Bowl. Still, the idea that an ad pegging pit bulls as a dangerous breed might run? That was enough to create an online frenzy.
Poking Fun at the Genre: Taking Cues From Fake Attorney Commercials
Bottom line, a Super Bowl commercial needs to keep the viewer engaged for 30 to 60 seconds. There’s no time to waste. Sometimes success hits just by not taking the ad too seriously. People are watching football after all, and the expectation is first and foremost for entertainment.
Saturday Night Live
Finding the funny in things is the job of the team at SNL. It’s not surprising, then, that this “lawyer ad” has reached nearly 3 million YouTube views and is still climbing. Knowing that people are laughing at the genre can give permission for law firms to experiment with an over-the-top approach that can translate into wide visibility.
Campbell Alexander (not a real person)
This mock law firm commercial from the fictitious “Law Offices of Campbell Alexander” has earned over 100,000 views on YouTube, all for poking fun at the genre that when taken too seriously, often misses the mark with viewers.
Whether or not your law firm is making a Super Bowl commercial, keep in mind that an ad’s lifespan can persist far beyond its kickoff. And when it hits home, for better or for worse, you can bet it will be shared and shared again. Line up your marketing efforts with an effective video script and production, and your ad could become the next viral YouTube sensation.
Enjoy the game and tell us about your favorite lawyer Super Bowl commercial this year.
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