It will come as little surprise to New Zealand lawyers that American TV advertisements of law firms come in all shapes and sizes, but few of them are dull. In a land where there are (at the last count) 1.3 million lawyers, ads need to be catchy, short and with a plea/demand ‘to call’ to beat off the intense competition.
This makes for some highly entertaining, if not extremely dubious, commercials in which shouting, flag waving, car crashes, extraordinarily claims and loud music can make for a curious watch in the search for new clients.
LawPoints had a look at some of the most eye-catching. Just click on the links to see these beauties.
"I am the hammer, they are the nails"
Self-proclaimed “battle-scarred old pro” Lowell ‘The Hammer’ Stanley plays footage of a large white SUV careering out of control before crashing and flipping several times while vowing to “push, pound, punish them to get every dollar possible. 459-Cash, 459 Cash. MAKE THE CALL.” I could watch this guy’s ads all day. In another of his classics he says of the insurance firms he pursues: “I am the Hammer, they are the nails.”
Hell hole of a marriage
Steve Miller takes the ‘telling it straight line’: “If you and your spouse hate each other like poison and want to get out of the hell hole you call a marriage, you’ve come to the right place.” And he’s only just started.
The Texas LawHawk
American flags and birds of prey are just the start to Bryan Wilson ‘The Texas LawHawk’ ads, which have gained cult status online with millions of views. Is it educational, promotional or entertainment … or comedy? Wilson is loud and in your face, and also popular – including among other lawyers, with readers of the legal news site Above The Law, voting him their favourite attorney of 2015.
Peter Reid from Austin, Texas, probably reckons that holding legal books, or standing in court would be took tedious so we see Pete winning three games of chess at once, tackling a mugger, saving a drowning man, performing martial arts and scoring a spectacular overhead goal on the football pitch. And all this to a rather excellent track, called "I'm the One" by garage rock band The Ugly Beats.
Adam Reposa is also from Austin, Texas but his style is somewhat different. Very different. Wearing an impressive Stetson hat, and sporting a moustache that extends into a beard, Reposa is an all-American boy who sounds more like a repossession agent than a practitioner. Why he is smashing up a car in this ad is not clear but it makes for an entertaining commercial.
Moseley Collins uses the Good Book to entice new custom with the offer of a free Bible.
Batman-style sign in the sky
Texas personal injury lawyer Brian Loncar’s 2013 commercial appears to be the standard dramatic crash scene with tearful victim type of ad but when the victim calls her lawyer, a Batman-style sign flashes up in the night sky with a strong arm in a circle. Brian Loncar: lawyer and superhero.
This ad by Peter ‘Q’ John and Associates isn’t in the tacky category – though the pin-striped attorney’s use of a flash convertible and private plane is certainly in the extravagant district – but he gets kudos for using reggae in his jingle. “Oh boy, poor boy, what you gonna do when the cops stop you.”
A badly-drawn cartoon squirrel in a T-shirt raps to lines like “I was hit by a car, that ain’t nice,” with the number repeated until you scream.
Better Call Saul
After all that, you get to the stage where you have to wonder if this last one is actually from a fictional television programme.