Today’s post is a fun one. I have to tease my colleagues. Every day you see billboards on your way to work. I hate billboards. They are unsightly and annoying. And it seems that my colleagues are the number one purchaser of this tacky form of advertising. So I’ve wasted a few hours of my life, scrapped the internet to find the shining examples of ridiculousness, and posted them here for you to enjoy. Here are 11 terrible personal injury lawyer billboards that either don’t make sense, are terrible, or are just tacky.
1. Mr. Clean
Now, there is nothing wrong with a little self-deprecating humor. As they say, “If you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?” But when you’ve been in an accident are you literally worried about pulling your hair out? What do we know about this attorney besides the fact that he’s bald? He doesn’t even provide his name. Are you just going to dial the number and say, “Hi, is this Mr. Clean?” He provides very little useful information for you.
2. Wrestle Mania Experience
If you’re a wrestling fan, this ad may appeal to you. What if I hadn’t told you this guy was wrestler? This ad would scare you off. “Hey Martha, we need to call someone about our accident. How about that 1980’s punk guy? He looks reputable.” That’s not very likely. Again, like the previous billboard and like many others here, what information are you really given about the lawyer? “Are you asking for it?” Personal injury help? A body slam? Do you really want to find out?
3. We’re Trying to Appeal to Teenagers
Pandering? Trying too hard? Eh, I just think its silly. If there is an explosion behind my car and I get injured, so long as there is a happy gray-haired man around I’ll be good? The reader has to make the assumption that this is a lawyer. Yeah, you’re probably right in that assumption, but if you’re driving by at the speed limit wouldn’t you prefer a clearer presentation? And there is no phone number. What if you want to call right then? You shouldn’t be going on your phone to visit the website (at least not in California).
4. Metaphor Happy
Admittedly, if you got injured and your option was dealing with insurance or unleashing a gorilla, the gorilla seems pretty cool. But other than raising your hopes for such an alternative, what does “Get the gorilla” even mean? On the plus, this personal injury lawyer billboard provides appropriate contact information. Unfortunately, it’s too much information. Again, you’re driving by it at 65 mph and you have to read and process all of it. Nice try, but should have kept it simpler. And I’m not sure hiring King Kong is going to persuade the insurance adjusters to pay you buckets of money.
5. Your Ticket to a Low Settlement
Look, in order to be a good plaintiff’s lawyer, you must be willing to go to trial. If you lawyer isn’t willing to do that, you will never get fair value for your case. Now, by no means are settlements bad, but think of the message this sends to the insurance adjuster…. Don’t you want your attorney to fight tooth and nail for you? Of course. They should be doing what is best for your case and that includes refusing to settle in the right circumstances.
6. The Dark Knight Became a Lawyer
This billboard is not as bad as some of the others on this list, but it is a little compacted. It isn’t even so much the amount of information on the billboard as the arrangement and the various font sizes. Its just boring. It it wasn’t for the fact that this guy’s last name is actually “Batman” it would be super boring. I’m so glad his name is Batman. He’s automatically got a huge leg up for me over the gorilla or Mr. Clean above.
7. Hire Us Because We Have a Billboard!
It’s relatively simple and rather clean, but what is with that tag line? Self-esteem is a good thing I suppose, but what does this billboard tell us about the law firm? Nothing really. You have the name, a phone number, that they do personal injury, a guy in glasses, and the fact that they think highly of themselves because they blew $8,500 on a roadside billboard (I have no clue how much money a billboard costs, that was my best guess). That space would have been better used for a short list of the types of cases they take.
8. My Butt Hurts
Butt hurt…really? Most people who are looking for a personal injury lawyer are not “butt hurt.” They have been involved in a serious accident and are looking for fairness in dealing with their injuries. There’s no need to “ask for written information about the lawyers legal qualifications and experience” because this attorney does not appear to take your case seriously to begin with. Maybe he thought that being clever would convince people to call him. Who knows….
9. Chuck Norris Can Kill Two Stones With One Bird
All Chuck Norris jokes aside (and assuming the attorney’s name is actually that), this billboard is very basic. Why are there two phone numbers? Where is the website url? Will this ad stand out in anyone’s mind? Maybe for people who love Chuck Norris jokes. But aside from that, I certainly wouldn’t call him if my back was broken. Then again, maybe if he had a Chuck Norris joke on the billboard about fixing backs….
10. His Arm Doesn’t Look Very Strong
Why? Just why? There are probably 25 lawyers across the country to call themselves the “strong arm.” Gimmicks are not needed. Gimmicks do nothing to say whether an attorney is any good or not. All we find out from this add is that the attorney practices personal injury. We assume that’s him on the billboard and “strong arm” is his attempt to show he’ll fight for you. But…how do you even contact him?
Personal interests are great. Hobbies are great. Ultimately, does it matter that this lawyer is in a rock band? Absolutely not, but what does it tell you by putting that on a billboard? Nothing. Much like the ad with one of guys above, this ad appeals to a very small crowd and doesn’t really say much to others that may need this attorney’s help. The point of a billboard is to resonate with a broader crowd, not smaller.
While this post is a light-hearted jab a my PI friends (no, I don’t know any of these guys personally), we should be taking our job seriously. People who are hurt don’t want gimmicks or for you to pander. They want someone who will walk softly but carry a big stick. Personal injury lawyer billboards have a bad reputation, and these feature why in spectacular form. People already distrust us (because they think we’re ambulance chasers), and these billboards do no elevate our image. UPDATE – I was featured in a great YouTube video about PI commercials. Check that out here. Its even better than this page.
On an even more serious note – our profession is under constant threat by corporate lobby interests. From tort reform to a mis-informed public, the viability of our careers depends on our government maintaining the strength in our country’s negligence system. Since the public hires our government officials, we should try to upgrade our image, not downgrade it.
That is my soapbox for the day. Fight on!