Cadwalader Runs TV ads on MSNBC

Cadwalader The 215-year old firm Cadwalader is running 60-second TV ads on MSNBC, during the "Imus in the Morning" program. Click here to take a look.  It's good to see a 470-lawyer, traditional firm try new things. But alas, it's not impressing marketers on the LawMarketing Listserv.

"My opinion is that this is an ineffective ad," said veteran marketer Andy Havens. "What does this ad actually SAY about the firm, beyond the narration, which will not be remembered? I watched the ad three times, and recall an office, skyline, feet, pens, desks, etc. Since this is not a promotional ad (i.e., "here's exactly what we do and why you should call us now"), it's a brand ad. The brand of the firm, therefore, in my head is: office, skyline, feet, pens, desks. And some people talking."

To me the ad was bland.  With the British voiceover, I expected the commercial to end with, "At Cadwalader, we earn money the old-fashioned way.  We earn it."

Mark Merenda of Smart Marketing added, "I had a negative reaction to the Brit accent of the announcer...or was I just hallucinating? It made the firm sound as if it were trying to be stuffy and pretentious. It's bad enough that the firm name sounds like three characters from a Jane Austen novel, without that announcer."

"The move to TV advertising by large law firms, and eventually smaller ones, is inevitable.  It's foolish to ignore the most pervasive, fastest-growing media.  When I talk to firms about TV it seems they avoid it largely because PI lawyers run (what they think) are bad commercials during daytime TV for accident cases," said Bob Weiss, President of Alyn-Weiss & Associates, Inc. "The next big move in TV advertising for lawyers, however, is likely also going to be direct-response and for family law, not for large firm and institutional campaigns. TV works for domestic practices like it does for PI firms."

Cadwalader was approached by an organization that offered to handle production and placement of a 60-second television ad, according to the Wall Street Journal's law blog. Prior to that, said Cadwalader's marketing director, Claudia Freeman, "we hadn't considered something like this." But, she added, "the cost was very reasonable." This past week, MSNBC devotees might well have seen the clip; it ran for a week on the cable channel, and is not slated to appear again. Freeman says Cadwalader had no control over the placement of the ad.

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