Where do the law book publishers go when people are moving online? Would you believe television?
The New York Times details a new initiative by LexisNexis unit Martindale-Hubbell to create ads for law firms that could go beyond the Robert Vaughn-says-call-plaintiffs-lawyer-X variety.
According to the Times, Martindale-Hubbell is working with ad agency Spot Runner to develop ads covering areas “…like family law, drunken driving, personal injury and general practice; commercials for criminal and immigration law are also being developed.”
And we are not talking about el-cheapo radio spots, either:
While the commercials in Spot Runnerâ€™s general catalog can be purchased and personalized for as little as $499, packaged advertising campaigns for Martindale-Hubbellâ€™s firms will start from $10,000 to $50,000, including air time. Kurt Weinsheimer, vice president for partner development at Spot Runner, said that many small firms had been discouraged from television advertising because professional-looking commercials are prohibitively expensive and time-consuming. Under the new arrangement, law firms can work with their Martindale-Hubbell account representatives to use a Spot Runner ad and buy time in the more-affordable local, rather than the national, television markets. In those local markets, the commercials will run on broadcast and cable networks like CBS, CNN, ESPN and Fox News.
For some time, Martindale-Hubbell has attempted to move beyond an image of a large set of thick tan books that sit mouldering in the library. They are clearly asking for a stretch from account reps previously tasked with signing up firms for directory entries. Perhaps also a tacit admission that upstart Avvo is having an effect on Lexis-Nexis strategy?
What I find most revealing is that Martindale-Hubbell is targeting television for lawyer ads. Many other sophisticated advertisers are moving more spending online, given the superior targeting and tracking it can offer.
I would certainly enjoy watching these ads; the word is that they will start to appear here in Michigan first. But what will more normal viewers do when interrupted by a lawyer ad when they have Tivo controllers in their hands?