Quick, name that law firm by looking at their signature icon:
If you said Bingham McCutchen, then this advertising pet trick is working.
When I first saw this picture in a glossy ad (I believe it was in the American Lawyer), I figured that the firm is either (a) savvy in a goofy sort of way or (b) the victim of one of the most elaborate practical jokes in the history of modern legal marketing.
This ad is apparently part of an initiative by Bingham, as described in a recent issue of Law Practice magazine. According to Bingham’s chief marketing officer, Elizabeth Chambers, these ads:
…meet the first test of good advertising: “They are visually striking (rich in vibrant color), they hold your attention, and they are likable. As a result they engage the reader right away and thus help us convey our message.”
It’s getting deep…
Ms. Chambers claims that the ads have been well received by clients, employees and “talent” they hope to hire in the future.
Just what is the message that Bingham is conveying?
Let’s free associate a bit. What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you see the picture above? Here’s a few that I thought of that made the cut (email me for the one that didn’t):
— “Who let the dog out?”
— “I hope he doesn’t jump on my leg at the closing!”
–“He was Bingham’s prize show dog, and is in the lobby under glass.”
— “Is he wearing dark grey slacks and black loafers with square toes?!”
— (Bingham partner to prospective client) “If he sniffs your crotch it means he wants to work on your deal.”
— (Gunner associate to another, both in Fido’s entering class) “There’s no way he will make his 2,200 hours this year. He sleeps all afternoon on the couch in the library.”
— (Bingham associate overheard saying) “The worst part is having to carry a little plastic bag when we go for a walk during breaks in depositions.”
But in an era of me-too lawyer advertising, I guess you have to give Bingham some credit for pushing the invisible fence a bit.
I would have used this dog (he works cheaper, but not as clean):