Is there anything more fraught with both possibility and potential for disaster than a lawyer doing a television/YouTube advertisement? We come from a profession that has only allowed advertising for a shade over 40 years and one that now deals with a near-continuous battle over what is actually permissible.
Additionally, a good deal of lawyer business isn’t actually the kind that is enhanced by television marketing. Your mergers-and-acquisitions practice probably isn’t going to be helped by a 30-second YouTube video. Because of that, legal marketing spots tend to be focused on those types of practices — criminal law, divorce, personal injury — where direct marketing to individuals might prove successful, and for some unfathomable reason, most of those things lead to truly terrible law firm ads.
Right now, there’s an arms race of sorts, where some lawyers are actually trying to make the most ridiculous and over-the-top ads, which got us to wondering whether we could find ten lawyer ads that were actually good (not “oh god that’s so bad it is hilarious” good).
Spoiler alert: we totally couldn’t. The portion of the Internet that is not entirely occupied by pictures of cats is apparently populated only by intentionally cheesy or accidentally awful lawyer ads. Lawyer ads are so bad that the ABA Law Practice Management section decided to create a Law Video Award back in 2011 and has abandoned the effort entirely going forward. We’ll likely do the same.