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Humor in attorney advertising? Jacoby & Meyers gives it a try.

A New York Times article reports that the national law firm of Jacoby & Meyers is using humor in a series of new television ads:

AMONG the most derided commercials on television are those by law firms that represent victims of accidents, which often feature tough-talking lawyers promising vengeance, video of car accidents and assorted mayhem, and modest production values.

Now a new campaign by Jacoby & Meyers, a law firm with offices in New York and throughout the United States, is taking the unconventional approach of eschewing lawyers and employing humor.

“Remember that guy?” begins one text-only commercial. “Who came in second in the last New York Marathon? Neither do we. Winning is everything.”

Another commercial opens with the song, “Hail to the Chief,” and shows portraits of the historical figures Horatio Seymour, Charles C. Pinckney, Hugh L. White and Lewis Cass. “Presidential elections are like lawsuits,” says a voiceover, “You’re nobody unless you win.” (The ad does not spell out the victors: Ulysses S. Grant, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Van Buren and Zachary Taylor, respectively.)

“They say,” begins yet another ad. “It doesn’t matter if you win or lose. As long as you tried your best. They probably weren’t rear-ended by a truck. Jacoby & Meyers. Winning serious injury lawsuits since 1972.”

While I haven’t yet seen the ads, it sounds as if they will be a refreshing change from the typical cheesy television ads used by many personal injury law firms. I’ve been a believer in the use of humor in attorney advertising for years. We first used humor to generate buzz and obtain new clients in 2008, when we created the “Yamaha Rhino Complaint Department” YouTube video. Although our Yamaha Rhino marketing campaign is over, you can still watch the video on YouTube.

If you’re an attorney who is interested in using creative television or online video ads to obtain new clients, check out my Online Videos That Attract Clients page.

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No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. The hiring of a law firm is a serious decision that should not be based on advertising alone.