Boogying Down With Nixon Peabody's Firm Song

"Everyone's a winner at Nixon Peabody," is the refrain of 600-lawyer Nixon Peabody in their very own firm song.  The firm commissioned the tune to celebrate being named named to Fortune magazine’s 2007 list of the best companies to work for.

It's got a good beat and you can dance to it, as they used to say on American Bandstand.  The 4-minute song, sung in a kind of Earth, Wind & Fire style, begins, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s all about the team, it’s all about respect, it all revolves around integrity."  You can hear the song and judge for yourself.  It first appeared on the blog Above the Law, a legal gossip blog run by a former federal prosecutor, David Lat.  When he called the firm about it, he got an email stating, "This song was put together in celebration of Nixon Peabody's Fortune 100 'Best Places to Work' recognition. Nixon Peabody aims to be the best law firm to work with and the best law firm to work for. Fun is not prohibited here."

Then things went sour.  

The song was posted on YouTube, which subsequently took it down.  This led to some nasty videos razzing the firm's attempts to get the song off the Legal Top 40 Songlist.

Asked to discuss the situation, Nixon Peabody released the following statement: “This song was put together for a celebration. We were having some fun with it and now some other people are having fun with it. We’re moving on and focusing on being a great place to work and doing great work for our clients.”

Lessons for marketers:

  1. "You can't "unring the bell" once the news is out on the Internet and in the New York Times.  The firm should have hired a professional sit-com writer to draft a hilarious press release demonstrating their sense of humor. Nixon Peabody should have put the MP3 on their home page and forwarded copies to bloggers everywhere. This would have totally diffused the situation.
  2. Don't propose a firm theme song unless the law firm partners understand the value of a jingle.  Ditties like "Plop Plop, Fizz Fizz," "My Bolgona has a first name," and "I am stuck on Band-Aids" are still in the minds of consumers after 50 years.  But few big firm managing partners recognize the value.
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