1 = Lowest Possible Score; 5 = Highest Possible Score
If you want a laugh and nostalgic memories of watching Batman and Robin when you were in grade school, then give this video by The Law Office of Jeffrey D. Rowe a brief, very brief, moment of your time.
The video consists of a series of photo slides that are supposed to persuade you to call the firm if you are arrested for DUI in Fresno. The "video" starts off with music that sounds like it was a spoof for a lawyer commercial. Goofy. In my mind I'm thinking "Pow," "Kablam!" "Boom," and "I can't believe this is a lawyer video."
Twenty seconds into the picture montage, there's a picture of someone jumping in the air, with the sub-heading "For the best outcome." While the picture is shown, you've got this Batman theme music running the length of this "video." Even more ridiculous is that the video length is 55 seconds, but at 28 seconds, the montage ends and you are left with a still screen saying "Call Us NOW!" for the next 27 seconds. Bizarre.
There is no reason for anyone to "Call Us NOW" based on this photo montage. The attorney fails to give the viewer any information that explains why he should be called instead of the many other DUI lawyers in Fresno.
What was he thinking? Maybe the sales pitch was so good it was given as a freebie. Skip the freebie and create a video that will actually persuade a potential client to call you.
Lighting: Not applicable.
Sound: Take the Batman theme and re-imagine the fight scenes with those cartoonish graphics showing big star-burst patterns saying "Plow!" "Blam" "Ooph"
Set: There is no set. Just a series of photos. First you see a police car. Then you see a picture of a man in a yellow rain coat being handcuffed while leaning against a truck. Then there is a diagram of a bottle of beer + a badge + a photo of something indecipherable = s California license with a sticker slapped on it saying "suspended license." Then there's a stopwatch — I guess to give you the feeling that you must act quickly and call this lawyer "For the best outcome ..."
Makeup: Not applicable.
Music: If you are into Batman and Robin, this theme is up your alley. But it's not a spoof. It's not a cartoon. It's not a car chase. This is not a fight scene or a scene with D minor music anticipating the gory bloody victim you are about to see when you turn the corner. It belongs elsewhere, not in a video trying to market legal services.
Length: 55 seconds. The photo montage lasts only 28 seconds. It makes no sense. For the next 27 seconds I couldn't understand what I was looking at.
Script: None. No voice-over.
Performance: See my commentary above.
Sidebar: Here's an example of what not to do. The grammar is poor. All it says is:
"been arrested for DUI? CALL now: (559) 478-2029 Fresno-DUI-Lawyer.com"
All caps for "CALL" does not make it more likely that a viewer will call you. The attorney does not even put his name in the text. Unusual.
At the beginning of each video I review, I start by allocating the highest possible score. Every video is presumed to be excellent until proven otherwise. The reason why you create a video is to persuade potential clients to call you. Ask yourself whether you would call this attorney based on this video.
The video lost 5 points for not being an informative video. This was a wasted opportunity. He lost points for not even narrating the photos, which would have been a little more interesting than the captions and cartoonish music. He gained one point because the soundtrack made me nostalgic for TV shows I used to watch when I was a kid. The bottom line: A disappointing 55 seconds of my life that I will never get back again.
The Back Bench
Certified Family Law Specialist and online video producer Kelly Chang Rickert says: "This is more of a commercial for a TV show than a law firm. Too gimmicky. Lose the music."
Lawyer, journalist, and legal media consultant Robert Ambrogi says: "The B-movie musical score and stock cop photos made me think I was watching a reprise of "Police Squad." I kept expecting Leslie Nielsen to show up as Lt. Frank Drebin."
TechnoLawyer publisher and online video producer Neil Squillante says: "I kept expecting Erik Estrada to pull me over and try to sell me some real estate in a swamp. Next!"
YouTube offers law firms a free advertising platform with tens of millions of potential clients. But a poor video can hurt more than help. In this column, lawyer and online video expert Gerry Oginski reviews and rates the latest law firm videos. A panel of fellow experts (The Back Bench) add to Gerry's reviews with pithy remarks. We link to each new YouLaw column and all other noteworthy law firm marketing articles in our weekly BlawgWorld newsletter, which is free. Please subscribe now.
About Gerry Oginski
New York trial lawyer Gerry Oginski has created more than 150 informational online videos for his medical malpractice and personal injury practice. Realizing that most video producers don't have a deep understanding of the practice of law and what potential clients look for, Gerry launched The Lawyers' Video Studio, which provides free tutorials and video production services. If you need help producing a video, please contact Gerry now.
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