“The choice of a lawyer is an important one, and should not be based solely upon advertisements.”
That’s the disclaimer I’ve had to read countless times while doing radio and television commercials for legal firms though the years.
But you don’t see or hear it in this advertisement.
Regardless, this ad during this years Super Bowl has generated over 5 million views on YouTube alone.
(Personal note: I wish I could have critiqued this ad live while I was on the Wall Street Journal panel on Super Bowl Sunday. Sadly, this was a local t.v. ad which was only seen in Savannah, Georgia.)
If you haven’t seen it, here’s the full two-minute commercial:
Impressive for a “local” television commercial? You bet it is.
1) It utilizes one of the core principles of advertising extremely well, which is unexpectedness.
Let’s face it: during the Super Bowl, the audience waits for those 30-second bites about singing animals selling beer, goofy kids eating Doritos, etc.
You don’t expect to see a story about a local lawyer (in Savannah) who wanted to forcefully make his point to the upper echelon of the city police about a family tragedy.
2) The production quality is outstanding with great editing.
3) It holds your attention. While the back half has periods of repetition, I’ll be the audience didn’t find themselves at any point being bored with it.
1) The first :47 of this is pretty gripping stuff. Then, we’re treated to almost a full minute (57 seconds, to be precise) of the song “Devil Gets Your Soul” by Nick Nolan (to which I’m assuming Mr. Casino acquired the rights).
This is where the advertisement began to drag slightly. The story was pushed along quite well in the first :47, then it slows down and is repetitive, overly dramatic, and a bit ego-driven.
2) The acting was…fair, at best. If there was anything to remind you that this wasn’t a national commercial, this is it. The dialogue of the cop and the kid seemed forced.
In my opinion, the child should have been a bit younger. That would have added an element of innocence, and true discovery for him. What does his dad do when he goes to work?
When the child asks the question the second time, we see Mr. Casino’s second job – smashing grave markers with a sledgehammer (@ 1:46).
3) Casino’s voice-over part should have been more spaced apart, especially at the end, with a bit of re-sequencing. Imagine at about 1:47 if he had said:
“I don’t represent villains anymore…I’m attorney Jamie Casino…now…I speak for those… who cannot speak for themselves.”
Same intent and tone. But just by adding “now”, it would have sealed the deal on his new image.
Addition By Subtraction
What did this commercial not have?
- A phone number
- A website
- The address where his principle office is located
The only call to action is a Twitter hashtag (#CasinosLaw).
This isn’t your typical “My lawyer got me a $5,000,000 settlement when I slipped on the floor at the gas station!” commercial.
Interesting, to say the least.
In The End…
I give the guy massive kudos for dominating an entire commercial break (or most of one, anyway) during the biggest viewing day of the year. That takes guts, foresight, passion, and a lot of cash.
The unexpected nature of the commercial alone has garnered this guy millions of hits online. It’s an unorthodox way to get traffic, without question.
But…he’s just now a personal injury lawyer? Nothing more?
Is he just re-imaging himself? Or just calling out his local police department?
Not being in Savannah, this is a bit confusing without further research.
If his point was to just air his grievances, this isn’t very effective.
If it’s to lure clients, parts of it are awfully powerful.
The first half? A+++. However, that massive space between :47 and 1:44 is a “C”, which I’ll split down the middle, and give it a B+.
Of course, the President of the Georgia Bar Association had a typical reaction.