Lawyer Commercials: Are They Worth the Money?

In today’s tough economic times, firms have to make tough decisions. Marketing and advertising budgets are getting slashed, and the choice about where to focus your limited resources is more important than ever. One of the biggest advertising expenses for any law firm is lawyer commercials. Production companies are expensive, as is air time—especially as if you really want to make an impact, you have to run your commercial for quite a while. While you’re deciding where to allocate your budget, here are some questions that are worth considering.

Who is my audience?

Thanks to satellite and cable television companies, there are literally hundreds of channels, and figuring out which is the right one to buy local air time on can be a nightmare. It is, however, essential to effectively using lawyer commercials. You need to target your audience, not only in terms of the television channel, but also in terms of the shows that your commercial will air before, during or after. Obviously, your options will be limited somewhat by your budget, but consider carefully what your audience is more likely to be watching; studying the demographic information (usually broken up by zones) provided by the television stations should help you make that determination.

Will the air time I can afford be worth it?

Most data out there suggests that you’ll need to run your lawyer commercial for at least a month—and preferably closer to three months—in order for your commercial to have a real impact. Buying that much air time may mean that you have to compromise on the time of your slot or on the number of zones you target.

How will I grab their attention?

With digital video recording devices like Tivo, fewer and fewer people are watching commercials, instead skipping right through them. In order to counteract this inattention, you’ll need a striking lawyer commercial. That means developing a great concept and executing it perfectly. If you hire a talented video production company, they should be able to help you with the concept, but remember: if it were easy to do, every commercial would be amazing.

How else could I spend the money?

Producing and airing a quality lawyer commercial will cost you thousands of dollars. You’d be foolish not to consider what else you could do with that money, and whether your dollars might be better spent elsewhere. One option to think about is creating lawyer videos that you upload to as many online locations as possible: your website, a lawyer video directory, any social media websites your firm has profiles on, and on YouTube, for example. The cost will be minuscule, and you’ll be building your online presence—the place where prospective clients are increasingly looking for attorneys to represent them. Not only will you be able to get away with a lower video production quality, but you’ll also have to worry less about using a gimmick or clever concept to catch the viewer’s attention. After all, they’ll be looking for a lawyer, unlike the vast majority of people who will wind up viewing your commercial on television.

In the right environment, with the right concept, and the right budget, lawyer commercials can be effective legal advertising tools. However, if you lack any of those three qualities, you’re probably better off spending your money in the less costly Internet.

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