A Possible New Advertising Venue for Lawyers?
Not too long ago I posted about what we all could learn about marketing from the presidential elections. Because it focused on Obama's marketing campaign, its laser-focus on a specific demographic and its successful execution, I got some flak as it being a thinly veiled attempt at political persuasion. It wasn't and it still isn't. It is purely about creating a marketing message which resonates with its intended audience and careful execution and delivery of that message through the venues the intended audience uses, something which has been the focus of news commentators of late.
Warning: If you don't want to read another brilliant marketing lesson from this campaign - an idea we will see used more and more by advertisers of products and services - do NOT read further.
That being said, the other day I saw another brilliant marketing/advertising gambit by the very same campaign to reach their target audience and to get them to register to vote specifically in swing states. The Obama campaign contacted the distributor of the popular X-box game and had a virtual billboard taken out within the game itself (the billboard was on the road as the driver zoomed by) with Obama's name and his marketing message promoting change but inserted and distributed only in those swing states. In another game which simulates basketball, you can see his message courtside like you would see at an actual basketball game.
I don't care who you are voting for. This is just brilliant targeted marketing and exemplifies what I have talked about: marketing your message in the venue where your client is. If 18-35 year olds are your audience and they are the very same ones buying these games, games they spend hours on and games in which they will repeatedly see your message...and their family and friends, too...it is big bang for your buck directed specifically at your potential audience. And because it is in states still in play it was very shrewd and very focused.
This type of marketing reminds me of the very first time I saw a bag of Doritos and a can of Mountain Dew as a reward on the hit reality show Survivor. This was a direct response to the latest VCR phenomenon where the target audience could fast forward through commercials. Advertisers paid big bucks to have their target audience eliminate their commercial via the latest technology - the VCR. Therefore, how could they get their audience to see the product? Make it part of the television show. Just as Coca Cola has paid to have the judges on American Idol drink from Coca Cola cups during the show. This is no different. Make your message and service part of the game. Of course, this concept isn't new as cigarette companies have been promoting their product and brands in movies while stars have puffed away for more than half a century.
With the popularity of Wii games, DS and Xbox many opportunities exist. Ironically, I have an acquaintance who has a company who puts advertising in these types of games but it never clicked until I saw the Obama ads. Of course, now, I'm going to have to talk to him about this when I see him.
It is also my understanding, this type of advertising is cheaper than TV commercials and considerably more effective but please don't ask me pricing. I have yet to inquire.
(And on that same note, advertising in movie theaters is relatively inexpensive and while the economy is stressed, the active participation in staycations has seen an increase in theater going.)
So, how does this impact you, the solo. Honestly, I'm not quite sure other than to get you thinking outside the box. At this point in time, I could see larger statewide firms who handle Personal Injury work taking out virtual billboards in Xbox games with car crashes. DUI lawyers taking out virtual billboards, too. Class Action law firms looking for members of a class. Depending upon the game and the targeted audience, who knows. (I find this no different then traditional TV ads, Yellow Page ads, billboards or bus placards so please don't suggest to me this type of advertising will now demean the profession. That argument was and lost years ago.)
It's also an opportunity for lawyer networks in a given practice area to be creative. I'm just blue-skying here, but wow.
Is it affordable for solos? I don't know. But I did want to bring it to your attention to get your creative juices going. What opportunities are staring you in the face if only you would connect the dots?
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