I’m finally back with another Superbowl commercials post! In today’s post, we’ll cover my second tier commercials, those I’m calling the "good" of 2015. I’m going to look at three of them, as well as the lessons that lawyers and law firms can learn from them, and then I’ll list the other commercials that I liked and would consider worth a watch. 

Always #LikeAGirl

The commercial posted above is the full three-minute spot, which is longer than the one that aired during the Superbowl, but worth the full watch. I love this ad because it’s emotional for me, as a woman. Without even realizing it, we all (women and men) come to a point where we’re using the term "like a girl" as an insult. We can all argue varying points about our own levels of confidence, and not meaning anything by saying it, but are we really considering how young girls at a vulnerable age are hearing it? No – so there’s a lot of food for thought here.

I find it an uplifting ad, one that gets me thinking about the power of words, my ability as one person to shape the confidence of the young ladies in my life (my nieces), and it makes me want to support Always as they work to build young women’s confidence. 

The other thing I like about this ad is that it’s a tricky brand – women’s feminine hygiene products are NOT usually something you’d expect to see during the Superbowl and moreover, the commercials normally produced for them are something that are either embarrassing, ridiculous or both. But this ad gets you thinking about Always as a brand that you want to support, without getting uncomfortable about their products – nice job.

The lesson for lawyers? It’s about redefinition and connection. 

First, the ad finds a way to connect with all of us – we’ve all used the phrase "like a girl" at one time or another, and not in a good way. Maybe in an ironic way, or in an irritated way, but have we used it like Always has, to redefine what it’s come to mean? Not likely.

There are things within the legal profession – heck, the profession itself – that are considered to be negative. Look within your own practices for those things that your clients HATE to see coming, or are afraid of, and ask yourself, how can I reshape this for them? How does your work as their advocate and counselor help to change the way they see that idea or process? Then market that, and your ability to support them in the redefinition. 

As we discussed yesterday, audience is extremely important here – you’re looking for your clients’ pain points and connecting with them over them; that’s how you get their attention. You give them hope (and faith in you) by redefining how they see those pain points. 

Budweiser Lost Dog #BestBuds

https://youtube.com/watch?v=xAsjRRMMg_Q

This was a favorite of many people, and how can you resist an adorable puppy, with a deep friendship with a Clydesdale? 

The commercials overall this year were much more emotional than humorous, and Budweiser’s Lost Dog ad was no different – it gets us right in the feels with their lost puppy trying to find his way home, almost being lost to wolves, and being saved by his Clydesdale friends. What more could you want? 

The lesson for lawyers? I know what you’re thinking – how can I possibly relate a beer commercial about a puppy to the legal industry? But it’s possible, I promise!

Here’s the lesson: It’s about knowing what you’re really selling.

We all know what Budweiser sells, right? It’s beer.

Wrong. In this commercial, it’s friendship and loyalty. 

I’m not a beer drinker, but everyone I know tells me that Budweiser is a terrible beer, and they’d rather drink anything else. But doesn’t this commercial make you want to give them a shot again? Or at least sit down with your buddies to have a beer? 

Of course it does. 

And that’s Budweiser’s goal.

So what are you selling? You’re not selling legal services. You’re selling peace of mind, protection, confidence, etc. Those are the things that your clients want. 

Of course your clients want legal services. Just like when someone buys a beer, they want a cold alcoholic beverage.

But that’s not all they want. They want an experience, and it’s your job to provide that with that experience. It’s also your job to TELL them about that experience before they hire you, so that they understand what they’re committing to. So identify what that really is, and communicate THAT.

Clash of Clans: Revenge 

I cannot tell a lie: I love this commercial. 

It doesn’t make it into my top commercials because it’s absolutely ridiculous – it’s a commercial for a video game featuring Liam Neeson and roping in a Starbucks-like barista-type at a bakery who mispronounces his name in a totally irrelevant side note. 

The entire commercial is pretty much a series of non-sequiturs, and that’s what I love about it. 

The lesson for lawyers? This one is, admittedly, a stretch, but I like to make you think once in a while. My lesson here is that every once in a while, when all else fails, you’ve got to get ridiculous. 

This commercial aired late during the Superbowl, after everyone was fairly down following the Nationwide commercial (more on that in a future post), and was getting a bit of ad-fatigue. I had even stopped taking notes by that point.  It’s for a video game which I’d wager to say most of the Superbowl audience wouldn’t be overly interested in, so it’s a tough sell. So when you’re spending $4 million per thirty-seconds, you might as well go big or go home. 

Putting together this ad with Liam Neeson, a memorable star, recreating the persona of his character from Taken, is an attention getter at a point in time when most of us would have been more focused on the chips and dip than the television. It was funny to picture him as getting so fired up about a video game and getting "revenge," and also funny to see him as a victim of the name malfunctions that regular people go through. 

You don’t need to get Liam Neeson to do a commercial for your law firm (though wouldn’t that be fabulous?). What I am suggesting is that you think outside of the box – how can you get everyone’s attention when all else fails? 

Obviously, there are rules of ethics, but have a little bit of fun with the firm and your practice in terms of how you market it – come up with something unique to get the message across, and maybe (gasp!) throw some humor in their to catch their attention. I’ve seen some very successful and smart law firm campaigns using humor in a way that wasn’t at all crass. So step out of your comfort zones and get creative! 

Honorable Mentions

Here is my list of "likes" that get honorable mention – each of them is linked to their YouTube commercial. Please add your thoughts on how these might apply to the legal industry in the comments below! 

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Photo of Lindsay Griffiths Lindsay Griffiths

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. She is a dynamic, influential international executive and marketing thought leader with a passion for relationship development and authoring impactful content. Griffiths is a driven, strategic leader who implements creative initiatives to achieve the…

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. She is a dynamic, influential international executive and marketing thought leader with a passion for relationship development and authoring impactful content. Griffiths is a driven, strategic leader who implements creative initiatives to achieve the goals of a global professional services network. She manages all major aspects of the Network, including recruitment, member retention, and providing exceptional client service to an international membership base.

In her role as Executive Director, Griffiths manages a mix of international programs, engages a diverse global community, and develops an international membership base. She leads the development and successful implementation of major organizational initiatives, manages interpersonal relationships, and possesses executive presence with audiences of internal and external stakeholders. Griffiths excels at project management, organization, and planning, writes and speaks with influence and authority, and works independently while demonstrating flexibility in thinking, especially in challenging situations. She also adapts to diverse and dynamic environments with constant assessment and recalibration.

JD Supra Readers Choice Top Author 2019

In 2021, the ILN was honored as Global Law Firm Network of the Year by The Lawyer European Awards, and in 2016, 2017, and 2022, they were shortlisted as Global Law Firm Network of the Year. Since 2011, the Network has been listed as a Chambers & Partners Leading Law Firm Network, recently increasing this ranking to be included in the top two percent of law firm networks globally, as well as adding two regional rankings. She was awarded “Thought Leader of the Year” by the Legal Marketing Association’s New York chapter in 2014 for her substantive contributions to the industry and was included in Clio’s list of “34 People in Legal You Should Follow on Twitter.” She was also chosen for the American Bar Association Journal’s inaugural Web 100‘s Best Law Blogs, where judge Ivy Grey said “This blog is outstanding, thoughtful, and useful.” Ms. Griffiths was chosen as a Top Author by JD Supra in their 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards, for the level of engagement and visibility she attained with readers on the topic of marketing & business development. She has been the author of Zen & the Art of Legal Networking since February 2009.