Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Law Firms Get Video Online With Yellow Page Ads

Dionne Searcey of The Wall Street Journal reported in her article Bulky Yellow Phone Books Turn the Page to Online Video that yellow page companies across the country are offering video advertisement as editions to Web listings.

My colleague, Kevin O’Keefe, commented that he believes this is a “gimmick meant to serve outmoded yellow pages business models” and that yellow page sales reps “don’t give a darn” how their customers’ ads look.

I disagree.

Studies indicate that consumers still turn to yellow pages ads first for their local buying needs.

My husband was a sales rep with Yellow Book USA and although he’s since moved into a management role, I’ve witnessed the depth and breadth of his commitment along with that of the countless other sales reps I’ve worked with and become acquainted with over the years. It’s their job to care – if an ad doesn’t produce a solid ROI and the advertiser cancels, it’s money out of their pockets.

According to eMarketer, August 2007, “Video's high engagement factor combined with the Internet's tracking and targeting capabilities, potentially offers (advertisers) a highly accountable method to sway the hearts and minds of their target audience.”

I love the idea of Plaintiffs’ firms adding video ads to their yellow page listings online. For firms that already produce commercials, this is a no-brainer. The cost of the Internet ad is going to be exponentially less than reaching their target audiences on television.

I’m not crazy about the idea of having any ads produced by directory-owned production. It’s not that the sales reps or their production assistants “don’t care.” Rather, I believe law firms would be better served by spending the money it takes to produce top-notch branded video ads that fit within their brand strategy, are targeted to the most important audiences, set them apart from their competition, and comply with the rules of ethics that are mandatory for all law firms in the U.S.

Bottom line: these ads are valuable tools to increase a firms business if done right.

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