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By:   |   Jul 08, 2018   |   Views: 12   |   Comments: 0
by Dan O'Day

It's a simple concept, yet so few ad agencies seem to understand:

Successful advertising intersects common human experience.

Today let's examine the TV commercial for FindLaw.com.

This is a good commercial that does many things right.

It intersects the common human experience of having some sort of encounter that leaves you wondering -- probably concerned -- about whether you or the other guy is the legally responsible party...

...and not having a clue how to find out.

It DOESN'T include any jokes. That's because the people who made this commercial obviously understand that the surest way to amuse the targeted audience is to hold up a mirror to their lives....To reflect their own experiences so accurately that the viewers empathize with the protagonist and, as the expression goes, "feel his pain."

In each vignette, they don't have the guy verbalize his bewilderment; viewers can SEE what he's feeling, and the viewers provide their own versions of his inner dialogue...which essentially is, "What do I do now??"

There's one small moment that disrupts the rhythm of this spot: the first scene, with the tree in the yard. They shouldn't have had the neighbor smile after the line, "But it's your yard."

Why not?

Because that set the commercial's tone as the protagonist being victimized by careless and uncaring people. That would be fine if they continued along that line. But the other people he encountered -- the young driver of the other vehicle and his own clueless son -- were NOT portrayed as attempting to shirk responsibility.

Another thing I teach TV and radio commercial copywriters is to sell the results of the product or service being advertised. In this spot, we don't see the guy benefit from the results of FindLaw.com. But when we see him go to the website and type "driver liability" into the search field, we PROJECT his finding the answers he needs.

For a welcome change, this commercial isn't about how wonderful the advertiser is. The advertiser just offers the solution to one of life's common, vexing problems.

Good job.
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