Why do we keep fighting things we instinctively know we cannot win? We fight aging. We fight the weather. We fight generational change.
The aging fight is easy to see with billions spent on surgery and anti-aging programs. The weather man takes credit for good days and disavows bad ones even though we know his declarations are only explanations of statistical guesses made by computers.
And so goes lawyer advertising in the main. This fight against generational change is obvious in nearly every legal advertisement. It is an attempt to preserve the ambiance of the lawyers of our grandfathers. It is a fight to preserve a myth.
The myth is of lawyers being above all. Most of today’s legal ads on TV picture attorneys with righteous swords standing tall against the evil doers and possessing an intelligence of which we mere laymen can never aspire. Most advertising lawyers fight to keep this image alive, and lose their credibility in doing so. This is a battle that has never be won and cannot be so.
The public knows that a lawyer is a for profit individual. While JUSTICE is the title of the fight, there is NO profit in a loss. Even those firms and attorneys paid by the hour will lose their future with a pile of losses.
Once you admit that you are colorized by the commercial aspects of your trade you must face the diminishment of the myth for which you fight.
Today’s generation is entertainment dependent. They spend their time watching “Judge” shows which they know are scripted. They watch reality shows in which people are shown to be naked and afraid, while an army of cameras and support staff film and edit the made-for-TV event. They take their smart phones and create viral videos. Today’s generation knows what media is all about…Entertainment!
If your ad is designed to teach them how smart you are you lose. If you are bragging about your successes they know there’s a lot you have not disclosed. If you are standing with folded arms pretending to be all knowing, they cannot relate. Continue this mythical fight and you will continue to waste your money and become another invisible lawyer…just another lawyer ad.
Stop fighting generational change. Be an entertainer that puts the message in the message. The client knows that you cannot leap above tall buildings and be faster than a speeding bullet, but they know that somehow you will try. Show the variety of your talents and let them come to their own conclusions about your skills. Be humorous and sincere. Accept the fact that today’s generation accepts information in a way you never could.
Today’s generation is not your grandfather’s Model A. Stop fighting generational change. If you don’t know how to craft such a message, call us. We’ve been doing it for generations.
Richard Sackett / CEO / Group Matrix