I’ve been noticing a lot more terrible lawyer tv commercials, lately. I won’t advertise (or embarrass) the law firms putting them out, directly. After all, some of them aren’t being terrible on purpose- they just don’t know any better. It’s painful, though, knowing what these law firms are paying to broadcast their commercials. If you’re going to do tv commercials, you really should do them right.
I directed and produced a few award-winning lawyer television spots for my client and good friend Michael Leizerman about 18 months ago, which started airing regionally about 11 months back, and which have won awards as well as new clients for us both. So I got to learn a lot about law firm tv spots, what works and what doesn’t. Law firm tv commercials are, in a lot of ways, a unique animal. And they’re very easy to get wrong.
The first thing I’d tell a law firm interested in diving into television commercials is, think about your image and spend some time developing your story in a way that’s flattering to your firm. Too many lawyer tv commercials are thrown together haphazardly, and make your firm look foolish. Since our award-winning lawyer tv spots started airing, I’ve spoken with several potential clients who’ve called us up, offered us a pile of money, and told me that they wanted me to shoot them tomorrow, without a script and with no planning whatsoever. That doesn’t work. Find someone who understands story, and let them work with you to create a script that makes your firm look amazing.
Second, it’s important to spend the money on quality video production services. Don’t skimp and buy the internet special $399 commercial. Be smart- what you’re interested in doing here is telling your story and rising above the competition. A lowball production company will put out garbage that absolutely makes you look as foolish or as mediocre as the 30 other law firms they’re promoting. Go with someone with taste and chops. Like my firm, of course. And it helps to work with an actual director like me, as opposed to a videographer. Why? I know how to get great performances from you. The videographer knows how to hit ‘record’.
Third, don’t skimp on post production. If you have a great story, and got some great performances during production, then some effort in post production will make your commercial shine far brighter than the competition.
In a nutshell, mediocrity is a huge waste of money and makes you look stupid. The whole point of doing tv commercials for your law firm is to rise above the competition. To blow them out of the water. To get your unique story out there in a way that attracts new clients for your firm. To do these things, you need to put your best foot forward. Create something that works for you, not against you.
Patrick Ortman is a tv commercial director, and his Los Angeles based, world-traveling production company creates award-winning, successful video marketing for clients across the USA and abroad. You can contact him here.