Baby sitting on pile of money

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!