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Lawyer steals show with Superbowl adverts

06/03/2015

The amount of cash spent on advertising budgets for the recent Superbowl will, no doubt, have been every bit as mind-boggling as the other figures, such as the sums the players will have earned, the numbers of people watching and the amount of food and drink consumed by those watching on the television.

Only time will tell how effective the adverts will have been, in terms of sales figures for the big brands whose names and products will have been emblazoned across advertising boards or given airtime.

However important it might be to have a high-profile platform, the event also provided a chance for much smaller firms to make an impact themselves. And it appears a lawyer in Savannah, Georgia, may have shown the way.

His own advert for the 2014 Superbowl was much lower in budget and only seen on local TV. However, it was hailed by Adweek as "completely nuts, and completely entertaining. Grade: A."

It told a simple but true tale of how Jamie Casino, who runs Casino Law, was a defence attorney for some seriously bad crooks until he had an ephiphany, caused by the death of his innocent brother in what the local police chief wrongly claimed was a gangland incident. He promptly changed to become a personal injury lawyer, standing up for the "voiceless".

To hit home, his message came with heavy metal music, church candles, wads of cash handed over by the bad guys and a final scene in which he used a sledgehammer to smash a gravestone while surrounded by a ring of fire.

It had a profound effect with five million YouTube hits, so it was no surprise that Mr Casino followed suit this year.

This time, he focused on the "bullies" he had been forced to face in his own life, from bigger boys at school to cancer, but then the focus shifted to the 'bullying' behaviour of Savannah's corrupt city authority and police chief, who ensured many good cops were forced out for being whistleblowers.

In the end, however, justice prevailed - and the advert ends with the words "bullying is bad. Silence is worse".

Whether this latest effort goes viral or not, the impact made by Mr Casino suggests that a left-field approach to marketing can pay dividends. While some aspects of the story are half morality tale, half Hollywood movie - and they are professionally made - the sheer novelty of the original advert made it famous well beyond its local TV audience. This, in turn, demonstrates the power of social media as it was through YouTube that Mr Casino won fame.

All this, of course, is in aid of nothing more than publicising the services of a personal injury lawyer with a small practice in a modestly-sized city. This being the case, many larger brands might consider just what taking a novel approach to a marketing campaign might achieve for them, as will smaller enterprises with ambitions of becoming larger.