Like it or loathe it, this commercial proves you’ve got to take a risk in advertising and do something bold and memorable to cut through the clutter.
SAN DIEGO, January 5, 2017 – The often repeated “advertising rule of seven” claims people need to see an advertisement seven times before it makes an impression and remains in the memory. If you could show an ad just one time and have people remember it, you’d be way ahead of the game.
By this measure, New Orleans-based personal injury attorney Juan LaFonta is killing it.
LaFonta’s 60-second television ad airing in the local New Orleans television market virtually guarantees everyone who sees it will remember LaFonta’s name. Featuring hip hop/rap artist “Big Freedia,” a reality TV star born Frederick Ross Jr., a collaborator with Beyonce and the queen of New Orleans style bounce music, it breaks the mold for the traditional style of legal advertising.
The ad has reached 70,000 views on YouTube. Fans, communication experts, and legal observers are sharing the link like crazy.
In my informal survey of practicing attorneys and mass communication colleagues, most who watched the ad were horrified. Comments posted to the YouTube version were evenly split on both sides. A few examples:
“I’ve come back to this video every day for almost a week now out of pure entertainment. I literally wake up with this in my head. I’m not annoyed by that at all.”
“You should seriously be embarrassed, sir. What a joke.”
“At first I was like WTF? But every time the spot airs, I’m laughing — and paying attention. Mission accomplished!”
“Thanks for making our city look unprofessional and ridiculous to the rest of the country.”
“This is a good way to get clients, and this commercial does not define his work ethic of getting justice. “Jump on the bandwagon,” be blessed! WHY NOT HAVE A NOLA BOUNCE ARTIST IN A COMMERCIAL, THATS WHAT MAJORITY OF NEW ORLEANS PEOPLE LISTEN TO (BOUNCE). DUHHHHHHH.”
Here’s the truth: this ad is genius because it’s designed to appeal directly to a specific target audience, and it does so in a memorable way that speaks the viewer’s language. If you aren’t part of the audience and wouldn’t be in any position to hire him due mainly to geography, you’re irrelevant and LaFonta doesn’t care what you think.
People don’t plan to hire a personal injury attorney in the same way they plan to hire a family law attorney in advance of a divorce, or a trusts and estates attorney to draw up the paperwork to distribute their assets after their death. Your advertising needs to be especially memorable so it sticks with someone for weeks, months, even years until his or her services are needed.
LaFonta used a well-known local celebrity, identified with a specific genre of music developed in New Orleans, growing in popularity. Like her or loathe her, Big Freedia represents a slice of New Orleans culture. Anyone watching ties LaFonta to Big Freedia and immediately pinpoints LaFonta as a uniquely New Orleans attorney. Check.
LaFonta’s visuals reinforce in the viewer’s mind he’s “a fighter” by setting his ad in a boxing gym featuring New Orleans boxers including Golden Gloves champion Jonathan Montrel. Montrel hits the speedbag and shadow boxes as Big Freedia’s lyrics say, “He fight, he don’t play. Juan LaFonta will handle yo case.” Check.
Nobody wants a prissy, upper crust personal injury attorney. You want a brawler willing to be a banger and get a little dirty if necessary. Check.
Whether this commercial is “good” or “bad” from the perspective of taste or decorum is irrelevant. Like it or loathe it, LaFonta’s commercial proves you’ve got to take a risk in advertising and do something bold and memorable to cut through the clutter.
Clutch your pearls all you want, but this ad does exactly what it’s supposed to do and it’s a winner. If you find yourself repeating the deliriously catchy hook, chanting LaFonta’s name over and over, his work is done.
Curious how many times Big Freedia blasts us in bounce fashion with the words “Juan LaFonta” in this ad? Twenty-three times in 60 seconds, including 20 in a row.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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