Stand Out: How to Create Unique TV Ads for your Law Firm


Every lawyer can play in the TV advertising space and win new business. But you have to be doing something different than the other firm. The originality and authenticity of your campaign is critical to capturing new eyeballs; making prospective clients stop, think and remember your firm; establishing an initial element of trust; encouraging people to share your message; and ultimately possessing people to take action.

This begs the question: How can attorneys distinguish themselves from one another in such a highly competitive space?

  • How can a TV commercial come across as so compelling that viewers simply can’t turn away?
  • How can a legal advertisement’s creative license inspire action in a way that no message has done before?
  • How can the elements that make a legal brand different from the firm next door truly reveal itself on screen?
  • How can attorneys without massive advertising budgets still compete on TV against lawyers with national reputations—and exposure?
  • How clever can law firm television advertising campaigns get and still make the phone ring?

Facts continue to show the enduring value attorneys place on law firm television advertising. TV advertising already constitutes more than $70 billion in annual spend nationwide and is predicted to hit $90 billion in the next three years. Law firm TV advertising makes up a huge chunk of this figure, growing six times faster than all other ad spending between 2008 and 2014. And today legal services sits at the number six spot among the top 20 biggest broadcast advertisers in the U.S.

There are so many best practices that professional video production artists, including our own in-house studio staff, use to help lawyers distinguish themselves in the marketplace.

However the most successful law firm TV advertising campaigns today include these components:

  • Sound, smart and savvy scripting
  • Professional-grade visual and audio production
  • Expert talent execution and editing
  • Video diversification and dissemination
  • Strategic digital placement and social promotion

After being in the business for more than 30 years, our legal marketing experts could tell you some tips and tricks for helping law firms advertise on television and online, but it might make more impact if we employ video itself to tell the story. Here are seven of Network Affiliates’ most effective law firm television advertising spots—and why they work. These include both original commercial creative as well as a few new favorites from our library of pre-produced ads that can be customized for law firms practicing in some of the most common areas of law.



Why it works: This shocking campaign stands alone in a sea of lackluster legal advertising. “Out of Control” is a series of commercials that attempts to recreate the formidable, frightening feelings accident victims experience in the days, weeks and months following an injury. When the victim mindset takes hold, people typically feel panicked, lost and taken advantage of by everyone—from the careless driver to the bill collector. While the spot undeniably fuels this tension by reminding viewers of how bad it is, there’s immediate payoff for reliving the pain: help. Expert legal counsel can quickly show victims a way out from under water.




Why it works: One of our most memorable law firm television advertising spots to date, “Shattered” goes against everything you’ve seen in the legal industry before. Switching the emphasis from touting the accolades of a chest-pounding lawyer to showing the physical reality of a car-accident victim, this production phenomenon actually slows down footage to create the sense of how a life can be shattered in an instant. Props included a stylized, turntable-mounted car cabin, silicone “glass” cannons and two air guns to create a haunting and lasting visual impact.




Why it works: This totally out-of-the-box, totally fun and totally informative spot shakes things up in the traditional legal TV advertising community by using a no-nonsense script and bright, quirky graphical cues to keep viewers tuned in. It’s like a favorite tips piece—only in video format. People are intrigued by anything that informs them in a way that makes them feel more in control during what is inevitably a very stressful and confusing time. Simply knowing some steps to follow when dealing with insurance companies gives viewers an immediate sense of confidence—and ideally enough resolve to take the next step to call a lawyer.




Why it works: Underscored by tight art direction and high production value, this spot’s fundamental play is emotion. Humans can quickly identify with a moment when they, too, felt downgraded to a nothing but a “number” by an insurance company whose best interests were in dollar signs. It’s happened to the best of us, and it leaves us every one of us feeling powerless. In this quintessential moment of weakness and vulnerability, having a trusted attorney to turn to restores a sense of power over the situation. “Claim Number” is a poignant, engaging ad designed to connect with clients after a life-changing event.




Why it works: This pre-produced segment is simply a modern interpretation of the old-fashioned testimonial spot. But instead of a generic talking head, we get a real-life story, a universal sports scenario that people of all ages and backgrounds can relate to and find meaning in. This encapsulated 30-second ad demonstrates how video is a powerful mechanism for putting the viewer in the victim’s shoes. These dramatic, testimonial-style scripts are simple to produce and can be customized for any law firm looking to capture and engage viewers in an entirely fresh and responsive way.



Why it works: Goose bumps. Any commercial creative that gives you goose bumps has generated a strong physiological reaction that will no doubt leave a lasting impression. This is one of those legal spots that you literally feel. And after it washes over you, you’re left feeling like you need to take action—reach out to a loved one, protect yourself or call a legal expert who can take over. This completely original message is visceral and serious. It’s incredibly effective for those reasons and the fact that there’s simply nothing like it on TV. Perfectly juxtaposed against our graphic “Need to Know” spot, “Turn to Dust” demonstrates the vast range of creative approaches that can work to tell your firm’s story and connect with an audience through different emotional triggers.




Why it works: This fast-paced dramatic reenactment is immediately engaging and entertaining because it’s relatable: Unexpected things happen to people just like you and me every day. This unforgettable commercial is especially effective because it draws viewers in, hooks them and then builds to an emotional crescendo. It’s this creation of suspense that drives home the ultimate message: We’re all just one moment away from an accident. The authenticity created by filming people doing real-life things helps prospective clients connect to the spot. But the real magic happens when viewers are left breathless by the tragic ending to “just another day.” They’re compelled to think twice about whether they have the right legal representation ready—if and when they need it.



Want to separate your law firm’s message from the competition? It starts with compelling, one-of-a-kind creative. The production artists at Network Affiliates’ in-house video studio are highly skilled and highly creative thinkers. See how great creative can help you grow your market share today. Call (888) 461-1016.

New Attorney TV Advertising Campaign: Claim Number

Although the medium has changed quite a bit in the last few years, television is still the most powerful and far reaching advertising vehicle around. Broadcast commercials cast a wide net, drawing in viewers and giving them a sense of who you are – and if they can trust you.

Attorney TV advertising is a long-term strategy; an investment in your firm and in staying top-of-mind, should someone ever need you.

We all know insurance companies do a tremendous job of marketing themselves as an institution you can trust if anything ever happens. However, the cold reality is, insurance companies are rarely the fun, friendly, caring neighbors they want us to think they are. In “Claim number”, Network Affiliates’ latest creative campaign, we shed a light on that cold world, showing how insurance companies are more likely to treat an injured victim like a number or statistic, rather than a human being going through a life changing event.

Through emotional performances, stunning art direction and production value that rivals any national commercial, “Claim Number” is sure to draw attention, engage your audience and portray your firm as one someone can trust when they need help.






At Network Affiliates, we take a unique and individualized approach to advertising your law firm. A spot that worked great in one market may not perform as well in another market. That’s why we offer a vast array of broadcast solutions. Call us today for access to our full commercial library as well as a FREE, CONFIDENTAL evaluation of your current marketing efforts – (888) 461-1016!

Attorney TV Advertising is Generating Leads in an Entirely New Way – Online

You say: “TV isn’t working”

We say: “Have you looked at your website traffic?”


If you think your television ads aren’t moving the needle it might be time to look at your law firm’s digital marketing data. Even if TV isn’t making your phone ring off the hook, it doesn’t mean this effort has failed. These days, most people don’t just call up and say, “I saw your ad on TV and I have a case!” This means your television spot may be generating leads in an entirely new way—online.


To support the notion that TV advertising is still driving new business, only in new ways, let’s consider an insightful 2015 study by the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB). The bureau compared web traffic to TV advertising for 125 diverse brands. The companies spent a combined $30 billion in annual TV advertising and all pulled in 100,000 or more unique website visitors each month.


Of these successful brands, a huge majority—82%—showed a direct correlation between TV advertising spend and website traffic. The analysis looked at both sides—increased and decreased TV ad spending. A 22% average increase in TV spending equated to a 24% increase in website visitors. For the 10% average decrease in TV spending, there was a striking 9% drop in website visitors.


The pattern is undeniable: There is a clear correlation between website traffic and TV advertising.


The takeaway? Broadcast advertising appears to be calling viewers to take further action online, driving and pacing law firm digital marketing efforts. But rather than people simply garnering general awareness about a law firm or calling an 800 number repeated in a legal TV ad, viewers called to action on the first screen are taking a different path to legal advice via a second screen. Fractured by the sheer number of digital platforms at their fingertips, consumers are increasingly going directly online to learn more.

Television is “activating” digital

Lawyers understand that TV is still the most effective effective medium. In fact, attorneys invested an estimated $648 million last year in TV advertising, and legal services ranked No. 6 in the list of top 20 local broadcast categories. What most law practices want to better understand is how broadcast campaigns can work to drive better engagement online.

If TV is no longer about broad brand awareness designed to reach the masses, today it’s about leveraging commercial messaging to incite people to do more research and take qualified action through digital marketing channels. Think about it – how do you use Google and the internet when it comes to obtaining more information about a product or service?

The web-based part of things can be a little elusive. As consumers become habituated to the anonymity that the Internet provides, and because they can hide behind the screen, they are often more willing to take action undercover, such as posting a scathing online review without their real name.

A prospective client that doesn’t know your law firm might take a similar covert approach, catching your commercial during the nightly news and instantly checking your legitimacy by researching your attorneys, cases, practice areas and reviews through an easily accessible second screen—laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Your job as an intelligent marketer is simply to be there when prospective clients knock at your digital storefront—your website—or engage through some other digital extension, such as a blog, social, networking site or email campaign. Media strategy is no longer a linear equation, and every brand, including businesses in traditional industries like law, are tasked with being available at every consumer “touchpoint.”

But how are lawyers expected to be everywhere and everything to everyone? They’re not. Smart law firm digital marketing in 2016 is about rethinking how TV activates digital and how digital data activates marketing tactics. That means starting to read your website reports in a way that draws links between your TV commercial and your website’s traffic and performance.


Here are 10 questions that might help you rethink the connections between your presence on TV and the Internet:


  • When you launch a new TV campaign or new creative assets are you seeing an increase in traffic to your website?
  • When you tweak your call to action on a television commercial what’s happening on your website?
  • Is there any online chatter about your television spot?
  • When viewers land on your website does it look and sound cohesive with your TV spot?
  • Which pages of your website are performing best?
  • Where are users engaging most with your brand on your website or online?
  • How many different ways (touchpoints) could a person potentially interact with your legal brand?
  • Do you truly know your core customer’s decision-making “journey” to investing in your law practice?
  • If a person never sees your TV commercial, what you think is his or her first impression of your website?
  • How would you rank the consistency (look and tone) of your brand across all platforms?

If you think of TV as the great “activator” of your message, what you’re saying and presenting visually online is just as, if not more, important. Why? Because the digital space is increasingly where you can capture your audience’s attention and keep it long enough to convert them to a paying client. After all, the user has come to your website intentionally, perhaps through a search query or email initiation. This is your chance to really tell your story and engage a captive audience. However, don’t forget that your competitors are just “next door” on the Web, and it only takes one click to go to another attorney’s digital storefront. If your website is not informative, useable and engaging, potential clients can go somewhere else with a click of a button.

As you think about the links between TV and digital initiatives, and ultimately how they work best together, remember these best practices:

Don’t “silo” your advertising efforts. Instead, look at how everything is working together.

Learn what’s driving digital. Consider how your TV advertising creative is driving website traffic.

Create quality, consistency and clarity. If clients are viewing your TV ads, they are most likely also holding or in close proximity to a smart phone or tablet. Therefore branding and messaging must be of the same quality and message consistency to paint a clear picture for your target customers.

Track your customer journey. Use online analytics to understand where your clients are coming from and what they’re doing online.

Don’t forget conversion. Once people land on your website, what are you doing to convert them to clients?

Wondering if your TV and digital efforts are working well together? Find out what Network Affiliates can do for your law firm marketing this year. Speak with one of our experts for a free, confidential marketing evaluation. What are you waiting for? Call us today at (888) 461-1016.

TV advertising still a $71+ billion dollar baby

With so much focus on how advertising is evolving online, it’s easy to overlook tried-and-true TV advertising for attorneys. Especially in an election year, where the competition for airtime and consumer eyeballs is tight. For some, it may be a foregone conclusion to spend marketing dollars elsewhere.


We hate to break it to you, but this is the exact opposite mindset attorneys should be cultivating. Spending on TV advertising overall grew from $69.2 billion in 2014 to $71.1 billion in 2015.  It’s predicted to hit $81 billion by 2019. This form of advertising is not going away anytime soon. In fact, lawyers looking for a steady stream of new cases will find it next to impossible without TV advertising.

Data across the board proves that broadcast and cable TV is still the most valuable medium for lawyers. It introduces law practices and helps attorneys draw in new clients via television’s broad, diverse viewership. Remarkably, law firm TV advertising grew six times faster than all other ad spending from 2008 to 2014. In fact, just last year legal services took home the sixth spot on the Top 20 list of broadcast advertisers. The message is if you don’t want to lose market share, you need to be on TV. End of story.


While Internet advertising has stripped some revenue from traditional TV, it may be surprising to learn that the effect of new online marketing channels has not been as damaging as one might expect. For attorneys, this makes sense because digital campaign efforts complement rather than replace TV advertising.

Another outlet that’s adding to an overwhelming media mix is online video. It remains to be seen how online TV, a growing sector of consumers who are cutting the cord, will play into lawyers’ TV advertising strategy. But the point is television in all its tangential forms is a rich and visually engaging format that continues to catch the attention of new clients each day.


So what does law firm TV advertising look like in 2016?

It’s more targeted than ever before. The most successful law firms are drilling down to hone where and when they place their messages on network, cable, syndicated and spot television.

Law firm TV advertising specialists at Network Affiliates have accurate data-aggregation tools to track, monitor and compare ads in the legal space. Such detailed competitive analysis’ help law firms take a proactive approach and see the effect of targeted advertising in realized ROI.

Let’s review some of the most important tactics for competing in the TV advertising for attorneys space today:

Production: Nothing says “we cut corners” and undermines your marketing message like a poorly produced TV commercial. And given the technology that production artists have, there are few excuses for sacrificing quality. With video in general—think YouTube—taking over Google-ing eyes and market share, law firms that are in it to win it must amp up the quality and sophistication of their TV ad production.

Even though TV is a visual medium, fine-tuning the graphic quality of your commercial is not enough when you’re stacked against heavy competition. Your advertising team should be paying attention to every detail—props, sound, editing, screens—not to mention unusual visual elements that will ensure your lawyers stand out among a crowd of talking heads.

Messaging: If only there was a magic potion that could make every trite law firm commercial jump off the screen. Alas, creativity is the only real secret sauce for making your legal message matter to the masses.  If you remember to keep your message simple and focus on brand attributes that set your firm apart, combined with some clever creative, you can craft something truly enchanting.

Remember, TV is not like middle school. In broadcast advertising, it’s all about not fitting in. We’re not saying you need to take it to puppy-monkey-baby level, but the goal is to set your law firm apart and addresses the needs of prospective clients. What promise can you deliver on better than any other attorney? What if you started focusing on not just getting bigger cases, but better ones? The answer will guide your creative process in creating a commercial that is compelling, actionable, relatable and, most importantly, memorable.

Approach: TV advertising for attorneys is no longer a one-and-done broadcast spot. You can’t make a great commercial and then rest on your laurels while the calls come in. Why? Because at some point the phone will stop ringing. A legal advertising expert can coach you through the most intelligent approach to marketing your law firm now and in the future. The marketing landscape is multifarious, and to compete effectively lawyers must employ a highly integrated strategy. That means all the parts—broadcast, digital, content, social, etc.—will work better together. It’s the sum of these seemingly disparate parts that will eventually move the needle.

When consumers see your legal brand on TV, engage with your firm through your website, talk to an attorney on the phone, and review chatter on social media, your message must be cohesive. What you do—and do best—doesn’t change. Your message may morph per platform, but your essential brand must ring true on every channel. People must see you everywhere as authentic, believable, and trustworthy.  A well-done TV commercial is just prize-winning creative. But you only win if you can see it as springboard for an integrated campaign of marketing messages.

Is your TV presence and approach made up of right stuff? Network Affiliates’ broadcast advertising experts have been in legal advertising and marketing since 1981. We know media, we know messaging and we know what it takes to keep your case load full in today’s marketplace. Call us today at (888) 461-1016 for a FREE and CONFIDENTIAL evaluation of your current media and marketing strategies!

What’s Your Plan to Cut Through the TV Advertising Clutter in 2016?

As you look to next year’s TV advertising strategy, there are promising new statistics that set the legal industry up for continued success on the airwaves. Television advertising is unprecedented in terms of volume and lawyers continue to thrive on the wide-reaching platform. In fact, it would be impossible for you to significantly grow your practice without this exposure.

A just-released Institute for Legal Reform report confirmed that in absolute dollar terms, legal ads continue to grow as a share of the entire television advertising marketplace. In fact with total annual spend projected at $892 million, legal services ranks No. 6 on the top 20 list of broadcast advertisers. That’s a 68 percent growth in the last eight years alone, outpacing all other ad spending during this time. In terms of local spots, legal services has doubled its share, and quadrupled its share of syndicated TV ads.

What do these numbers mean? Put broadly, TV advertising for lawyers still works. In addition to leveraging the diversity of network, cable, syndicated and spot television, top-advertising lawyers are honing in on more strategic ad buy positions in preferred dayparts and programs.

However with so many savvy legal practices continuing to communicate through the clearly recession-proof airwaves, how does your firm stand out, get ahead and ultimately acquire more cases in such a cluttered space? Get back to basics. Just in that attorney television advertising remains effective, so do many of the tried-and-true principles of strong brands, creative and marketing:

Dig into being different. Your firm isn’t the same as others on the airwaves. Why fall into the trap of mirroring what other attorneys are doing and thinking you’ll somehow stand out? Explore how you can portray your firm’s brand—and message to prospective clients—differently. Stealing creative concepts or simply trying to “shout” the same message louder than the competition won’t deliver the kinds of cases you really want.

Make your message resonate. In the same way that a different message might leave a distinct impression on the television audience, so will a commercial that resonates personally with potential victims. Try to talk to the public the way you would a jury; appeal to viewers through real-life stories; try an unexpected animation or other visually driven ad style to attract new eyeballs; and always make your message more about them—your clients—than your attorneys.

Watch other attorney ads. Competitive analysis is a smart place to start. Record TV commercials being aired by the rest of the legal advertisers in your market, as well as nationally, and have a viewing party with your advertising agency. Are the legal advertisements all the same, with monotonous messages about big money and big-name lawyers? If so, that’s your cue to do something out of the ordinary with your attorney television advertising. The opportunity is ripe to become the talk of the airwaves, and no one talks about commercials they can’t remember.

When they’re on our side statistics can be powerful motivators. Now’s the time to use the most recent reports on the sustained value of TV advertising for lawyers to make a name for your firm.

Need more ideas for turning up your TV advertising? Network Affiliates has in-house creative, production and media planning departments to handle all your TV advertising needs. Call (888) 461-1016 today!

TV Advertising for Law Firms: Attracting a More Valuable Case

The cost to ask for a low-end case is the same as a high-end case. However their values are vastly different.

Law firms around the country pay top dollar for TV commercials that all essentially say the same thing: Call us now. This generic plea for copious leads is just that: a solicitation for potentially unqualified inquires.

What if you could turn a commercial into a high-quality case simply by changing your attorney marketing strategy? How about surveying the local and national competition to see how your firm can say things differently—to make your message stand out—without paying more for creative?

That’s just the start of smart TV advertising for law firms. You’d be amazed by what you can get when you ask for what you really want—better paying, higher quality cases; happier clients; and stronger, more profitable referrals.

Here are three places to start:

Platform: What is your TV commercial standing on, anyway? Is TV just a highly visible platform for one-upping the competition with more “bragging rights” about big settlements or hotshot attorneys in effort to attract new clients? We’d argue that your platform ought to stand on its own by using brand messaging to tell your law firm’s story in a way that’s relevant to clients’ biggest concerns, which are inevitably about them—not you. How do your attorneys stand out in the area of client service and representation? Why is your approach to law different—and better—than your peers? How can you draw in prospective clients using emotion and empathy? What’s a real-world example of how your lawyers solved an actual legal issue for a client? Show it!

Production: You might be surprised at how far television production quality has come. Thanks to advancements in video technology and digital editing tools, professional-looking TV commercials are easier than ever to craft—and afford. If you haven’t considered how the quality of your TV ad might be impacting the quality of the cases you’re getting, think again. Production can’t be overlooked in today’s competitive legal landscape. Make sure your advertising agency is giving you all the visual and audio upgrades your newly distinguished messaging platform deserves. After that, it’s all about how your video and commercial assets consistently measure up to and pay off every part of your comprehensive marketing strategy—your brand platform, your website presence, your digital campaign, even a client’s in-office experience.

Placement: Now that your law firm’s TV advertising looks like it plays in the national space, make sure that you outfox other firms by reaching prospective clients in creative ways, at inventive times, away from the clutter of competition. While new messaging will give you an immediate advantage against the generic legal ads droning on TV today, placing your commercials in highly targeted ways could garner even greater response. Talk to your media buyer about new times, stations and strategies for getting your ad out to more—and ideally new previously untapped audiences. Sometimes simply showing up where others are not can make your law firm win in the race to be top of mind.

Need more ideas for turning up your TV advertising? Network Affiliates has in-house creative, production and media planning departments to handle all your TV advertising needs. Call (888) 461-1016 today!

The True Story of Attorney Television Advertising on a Budget

Despite what you may have heard, TV advertising is accessible—even for lawyers operating on slim margins.

However, making your advertising dollars go further requires a smarter, more pinpointed media strategy. Since you can’t bully your way into the market by buying up copious ad spaces and airtime, your challenge as an attorney with a small budget is two-fold.

Mastering your message

Hone your brand message so it’s both concise and perfectly targeted for your audience, rather than repeating previously popular but now unfounded tactics of focusing on how superior your lawyers are, how many big cases and settlements your firm was won, and over-generalizing to the saturation point. This will make viewers tune out or turn you off altogether.

Take a deeper dive into understanding your real clientele and mutual pain points. What do prospective clients really care about in life—and in a lawyer? Are they really looking to make history as the biggest payout in the firm’s history, or are they more concerned with finding a lawyer who is going to listen, remain responsive, and make it easy to work with throughout the lifespan of a case? Surprise, it’s the latter.

Work on making your advertising message unique to your firm by defining your exclusive differentiators (what do you consistently do better!) and addressing your clients’ real-world needs. If that message is distinctly different from the competition (even larger firms with deeper pockets) and speaks directly to what your prospective clients might be feeling, grappling with and trying to understand when choosing an attorney, it will quickly take you out of the mediocre legal media milieu and set your firm apart.

Remixing your media buy

Small media budgets require creative, strategic-thinking media buyers who can survey the competition and get your message to the right people right when they’re tuned in to the TV. That might mean focusing on one demographic and one message, or buying a single station in your market and dominating those niche airwaves with a powerful message and local call to action.

Finding the media mix to maximize your limited attorney TV advertising budget will also require tying up lose ends after you get the message out to a targeted audience. Make sure your stations are tracking your exact spend with a post-buy media analysis—how many people you are reaching for what you are buying.

Likewise, what are you doing with TV leads that do come directly from your targeted advertising campaign? Work on buttoning up your firm’s intake process in a more accountable way. After all, even if you get one call, what’s measurable is what your firm made of the call. Did it convert to a case?

Attorney television advertising can be striped down to message and media mix. Take a direct and strategic approach to marketing your firm on TV, and you may find that your budget is can stretch in some surprisingly creative ways.

Find out what Network Affiliates can do for you. Give us a call, speak with an expert and get a FREE, confidential marketing evaluation 303-817-7313 .

The Best TV Ad Strategy for Your Money

A surgical approach to placing TV ad dollars. Why a creative, flexible strategy pays off in television legal advertising.

Evaluate your legal TV advertising spend and pretend you’re a doctor instead of an attorney. Why? Because a precise, surgical approach to placing your law firm television advertising in the right market at the right time will more than pay off in ROI.

It used to be that daytime ruled the airwaves. That time frame best maximized ad spends, because people were tuned in—something that agencies marketing for attorneys could track and demonstrate to clients in ROI-based results. However, times have changed, and daytime TV has become an overcrowded space for law firms. Especially in highly competitive markets, too many attorneys are targeting the same audience over and over, leaving little room for law firms to truly distinguish themselves from the competition – and find new audiences or clients!

The smartest, most calculated approach in the saturated law firm TV advertising market is simply to get more creative with ad placement time slots. For example, Network Affiliates’ skilled media strategists regularly help lawyers test targeted ad campaigns during off-peak hours, such as early in the morning, during the late news and on surprisingly popular Sunday nights. Some of these ad buys even come with free overnights. Are you getting yours? This methodology does require some trial and error, but then again, you’re lawyers—and you’re used to that, right? Often law firms find that their legal marketing message is better received and calls come in quicker as they move away from the daytime advertising swarms and focus on singular calls to action during specific times when a group of viewers is intently tuned into TV.

Here are the three general rules of thumb to follow to ensure you are getting the most out of your television advertising.

Step 1

The first step in choosing an ideal advertising time slot is surveying the competition. If equipped with the right (and expensive!) software, your advertising agency can pull this type of competitive analysis to help you make a smart and strategic plan of action for advertising placement. Not all agencies have access to the tracking tools and applications that show the length of ads, purchased time slots and every single one of your direct competitors’ commercials. However, that kind of big data can lead to big payoffs in terms of ROI. You might think of it like a game of chess: You’ve got to see the whole board to outwit your opponent and get one move ahead.

Step 2

The second part of strategic attorney television advertising placement is asking for what you want. And not just in your creative campaign. Your ad placement professional should know what questions to ask and how to negotiate a better ad buy to get your law firm more for its hard-earned money. We call that value! Television stations have all kinds of negotiating options up their sleeve, and only a few legal ad buyers know how to get the greatest added value for every ad placed.

Step 3

Lastly, to ensure that your targeted creative message, pinpointed time slot and added-value bonuses are actually paying off, you must track your advertising effectiveness—and adjust if necessary. The most successful attorney marketing strategies are nimble, aggressively monitored campaigns. Your agency must be meticulously tracking and openly reporting to your law firm on the success—and even failures—of ad placements. Adjusting and fine-tuning is just part of the process, an activity that your firm should be fully involved in.

Wondering how effective your ad strategy is? Why not call for a free, confidential consultation of your law firm’s TV advertising. 303-817-7313.

How injured victims view your Firm’s marketing

After 30 years in the legal advertising business, we’ve worked hard to perfect TV ad placement and buying strategy to get our lawyers the best response rates in the market. Numbers, after all, are easy to track and tweak.

However, where advertising for attorneys gets complicated is in the messaging component. While our clients are often tempted to repeat traditional tactics they’ve seen dominating the airwaves, such as speed-and-greed talk, faked testimonials, and a hyper-focus on the size of firms and settlements, Network Affiliates now steers lawyers away from these communication strategies.

Why? Because they don’t work anymore. There are simply too many law firms shouting out brand messages that are too similar, too firm-focused and too overwhelming to victims in need of authentic legal advice. The legal TV advertising marketplace has become commoditized and generalized, which in turn has led to more TV viewers tuning out altogether, either by changing the channel or skipping over commercials.

TV Creative using the victim’s perspective


The key, we’ve learned, is refocusing efforts on crafting a marketing message that works a little differently, that causes viewers to stop in their tracks, and that paddles against the current of traditional legal advertising on television.

One way to begin to hone your message —the brand “story” that makes your firm stand out among the competition— is to ask three questions of your current advertising campaign, message and approach:

1. Who is the best person to tell your story?

In the past, many law firms have used a spokesperson or top attorney with a big personality and big cases behind him or her to “sell” the practice’s qualifications. However, if this person does not appear authentic and chest-thumbs too much on the firm’s greatness and not enough on solving a victim’s problem, it’s going to be a hard sell. We call this the “it’s not about you” reminder: Ads that emphasize lawyers rather than the benefits they provide to a potential client will ultimately fail in delivering quality cases.

To counteract this common advertising practice, it might be time to rethink who tells your story, what your story really communicates to a victim, and whether or not a spokesperson is even necessary. Can you “show” your brand through a personal story, animated character, real-life reenactment, or some other fresh messaging approach?

2. Is your story believable?

This is a real problem on TV today—people don’t actually believe what they’re watching and hearing because lawyers have used too many tricks to try to convince viewers to call right now. For example, we often see attorneys staging actors as real client testimonials. This used to work until people started reading the fine print and taking note of the unethical use of actors to misrepresent cases.

Is this the way to build trust with potential clients? We don’t think so, and neither do duped viewers, who thanks to the Internet and social media, can now call out dishonest lawyers and advertising practices for all the world to see. The point of this illustration is to help you examine the “believable-ability” of your advertising message. Are you using illusions when you could express your firm’s value in a more authentic way that might in turn bring you more reliable cases and clients? It’s something to consider.

3. Are you telling a new story?

One of the biggest downfalls in legal advertising is a majority of lawyers are saying the same thing in the same format. Most put lawyers, settlements and testimonials—themselves—first. What if you flipped that practice and started building a new message around what a victim might be feeling right now, what a victim might need from a lawyer, what questions a victim might have, or what expectations you could set for a victim?

There are countless creative ways to convey a new and memorable message to your audiences. As the legal advertising landscape is flooded, lawyers may have to swim upstream to say something differently and really stand out. This is your chance to develop an ad that’s a little out of the box, a little more provocative—something that makes a victim stop and think—or at least not change the channel.

It’s always an opportune time to tune in to how your commercials come across. If your law practice is not connecting with potential clients in an audience-focused, authentic and unique way, you can’t expect quality results. Let’s try taking a new perspective: the victim’s.

Want better cases from TV?

Talk to viewers like you’d talk to a jury

Would you talk to a jury the way your TV ads talk to the pubic? It’s a question worth considering the next time you take a critical look at the success of your television advertising campaign—and quality of cases it yields.

Much like a jury must be convinced by a compelling argument—a real story with real human connection—so too must viewers of TV advertising be convinced about the authenticity of a law firm’s “story.”

Surprisingly, a majority of the legal commercials on TV today don’t take this simple approach. In fact, they do many of things you would never think to do in a courtroom, such as:

  • Talk about yourself (or your lawyers) instead of the case at hand—people with legitimate legal difficulties.
  • Scream louder than the other lawyer, instead of calmly, rationally explaining the evidence on behalf of your client.
  • Default to generalizations, which lose the jury’s attention, rather than specifics, which “sell” the story and make a lasting impact.
  • Focus on the end result—the big money, the number of cases won—rather than people’s universal “pain points.”
  • Skimp on the presentation of critical “evidence”—the images and visual aids that tell might tell 1,000 words in one picture.

Thinking about the parallel between advertising audiences and juries is a metaphor meant to help you reflect on how your legal firm is asking for cases. If you spend time creating a high-quality, well-researched and strategic argument (TV messaging), your case will be that much more convincing.

If you want quality cases—the kind that lead to stronger results, better relationships and more referrals—you must ask for them in a quality way through your advertising approach. That might require ignoring a majority of today’s legal ads and creating your own signature message, or systemically breaking down some current ads as how-tos on what not to do.

Legal advertising that asks for quick, cheap cases might bring short-term gain, but it is also guaranteed to deliver short-term clients and relationships, as well as to short-change consumers about what your law firm really has to offer.

Like all the strongest legal arguments, it takes a more strategic approach to acquire more valuable, higher-quality cases and clients. Again, think of it like talking to a jury in a courtroom:

  • Research what the other lawyer (competing law firm in your space) is doing.
  • Focus on explaining the undeniable evidence (your legal brand’s differentiators and story).
  • Connect with decision-making jury members (potential clients) by linking experiences they might have had to the ones you’re presenting.
  • Appeal to your jury (advertising audience) through emotion and empathy—the places from which all long-term relationships start.
  • Help your jury (viewers) see beyond outcomes and settlements to the real community service of law.

As lawyers, sometimes it’s easiest to understand advertising strategy in the context of the courtroom. Next time you question the quality of cases your TV messaging yields, ask first: Who is your jury?