The latest fashion models: lawyers

Who are the newest faces to splash onto billboards, and bus station signs and benches? No, not oddly dressed models from the trying-to-hard-to-be-fashion-forward clothing store Bebe, but lawyers! Yes, lawyers are apparently turning to their looks to lure you into their offices. In fact, lawyer photo shoots are becoming the latest trend. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at some recent billboards from law firms. The lawyer photo shoot-billboard trend points out some interesting things to keep in mind as you stomp around your stomping grounds:

  • What signature items do different companies use to advertise their products and services?
  • Why do competitors use the same signature items?

Why the face?

As I travel around my adopted hometown, I keep seeing lawyer faces everywhere. Don’t we see enough of lawyers on TV dramas, on C-Span, and at every single social gathering (where they always take joy in pointing that they’re lawyers and giving us permission to go ahead and give them a hard time about it)? Not only do I see lawyer faces plastered all over town, but they’re always on a solid color background and often have a nickname like “Kodiak” or “Bulldog.” To get a better sense of what I’m talking about, I’ve included photos of recent examples.

The "Bulldog" (top), a lawyer billboard you can really only see between a tree and a Conoco gas station (middle), the renegade law firm that contradicts itself (bottom).

Why can’t these lawyers use a good eagle photo, a gavel or even a pile of money? Why it is important to see lawyers’ faces? It made me think a little bit more about signature items that other companies use in their advertisements. Consider some examples:

  • For car insurance, we keep seeing semi-funny mascots, like Flo versus the Gecko.
  • For quasi-Mexican food chains, Qdoba versus Chipotle, it is the giant foil-wrapped burrito.

Why use the same item and style?

These examples raise the broader question: why do companies use similar elements and styles in their advertisements? Perhaps they talked to the same marketing consultant or are trying to keep even with their competitors or really just feel the need to one up the other.

At the same time, for every action, there is an equal opposite reaction. In the case (ha!) of lawyer advertisements, one firm recently unleashed faceless billboards that warn “Don’t hire a lawyer just from billboards or TV.” Okay, so breaking the mold helped them stand out relative to the semi-fresh faced lawyers, but they are still advertising on billboard, too!   

Recommendations (Roadside zombie tip #45)

I like watching how advertising battles unfold on America’s streets and towns. So when plagued by too many billboards and signs, try to find weird patterns among competitors. Trust me, soon you will be engrossed with the latest trends in banking billboards, and eagerly awaiting the next brilliant move to take banking advertisements to the next level.

The ultimate lawyer billboard found in Lubbock, Texas. Not only do they have a nickname and lawyer picture, they have a picture of the nickname.

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One comment

  1. Pingback: Ein Autounfall, was nun? « Zuvieldesguten

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