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Two Family Law Ads: One Brilliant, One Miserable Failure

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By William Peacock, Esq. on January 21, 2014 11:55 AM

There is nothing rarer than a good lawyer advertisement. We see terrible law ads all the time, but when was the last time you saw an advertisement for legal services and thought, "Man. I wish I had thought of that."

One of these advertisements for family law services may inspire that sort of reaction. The other? It may make you wince in pain.

Brilliant: Esteban Gergely's YouTube Ads

Pardon the video-heavy post, but all three were needed for the full effect.

You see what he did there? It's funny because the "fake" couples took down their happy videos. Except they didn't. Because the videos never existed.

The reason these ads are so magnificent is because they take something we're all familiar with (the dead YouTube video) and ties it, humorously, into a typically sad subject: divorce. More importantly, the videos insult absolutely no one.

Humor and politically correct? That's even rarer than the aforementioned good lawyer ad.

Miserable Failure: The Edelsteins, Faegenburg & Brown LLP Holiday Card

On the other side of the coin, we have an "ad" that, while not the most offensive lawyer ad we've seen lately, was still a pretty terrible idea.

On Friday, Above the Law shared a gem of a holiday card, one that ensures that the firm will alienate approximately half of their target clientele, assuming their clientele doesn't consist of only men who find sexism hilarious.

Distracted driving is dangerous. Some lawyer reminded us about that a few weeks ago. (Or he mumbled something about not blaming video-game playing passengers for car accidents. We're still hopelessly confused.)

But, the solution to distracted driving isn't duct tape over the wife's mouth. Or any passenger's mouth, regardless of gender. And the solution to needing a clever holiday card isn't a sexist cartoon. Some of us will see the all-male firm's card and laugh. Others won't. See, for example, feminist blog Jezebel's take:

"The firm sent out a holiday card this year with a 'hilarious' comic on the front. The caption reads, 'New seatbelt design: 45% less car accidents!!' (FEWER. IT'S FEWER.) In the accompanying drawing, a man sits in the driver's seat of a car with a regular seatbelt on, while his wife sits in the passenger seat with a thicker seatbelt restraining her torso and a large black strap covering her nose and mouth. Her eyes bug out in panic and confusion, presumably due to the fact that the 'new seatbelt design' restricts her airflow and she's slowly asphyxiating on the way to T.G.I. Friday's.

The subtext, of course is that women's voices and opinions are so profoundly annoying that male drivers cannot help distractedly driving off cliffs and/or plowing into fire hydrants and grannies in a rage."

They're probably overreacting a bit. But that's not the point, is it?

The point is this: you are advertising or marketing via your holiday card to the general populace -- male, female, feminist, sexist, etc. If you can't pull off politically correct and humorous, try a different take on the firm's holiday card, such as sincere. Or hey, how about at least inoffensive. 

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