Maybe it makes your skin crawl, maybe you absolutely loved it, but purely in the context of an attorney SEO campaign, Jamie Casino’s Super Bowl ad appears to have been pretty darn effective.
The purpose of this post isn’t to persuade you to Casino-ize your web marketing. It isn’t to celebrate the commercial. In fact, if I were still practicing, it wouldn’t be the approach I would take. But there is no legislating for taste.
And Casino’s loss, and the story behind it, seem to deserve attention:
Today my little brother is smiling from heaven. This is all for you Mike.
— Jamie Casino (@CASINO_LAWGROUP) February 3, 2014
But I am not here to debate these things with you.
What I’m here to discuss is the limited context of attorney SEO. And in that limited context, Casino’s Super Bowl ad received a number of authoritative mentions and links.
TL;DW: The ad contains a passage from Proverbs, heavy metal guitar riffs, a sledgehammer, and of course, fire.
If you haven’t seen it yet, you can view the ad on YouTube:
At the time of writing, the video has received: 5,292,500 views.
It has also received 9,695 thumbs-up and 1,776 thumbs-down.
But we are not really here to talk YouTube views. We are here to talk mentions and links.
Mentions & Links
Upon casual observation, the ad was at least mentioned by:
- People Magazine
- New York Daily News
- NY Daily News
- CBS Atlanta
- Above The Law
- Dead Spin
- Huffington Post
- Business Insider
- Rolling Stone
- SB Nation
Popping one of his sites into OSE we see links from:
Of course, since we are only 8 days out from the Super Bowl, most link tools haven’t fully yet caught up (if you remind me in a couple of weeks, I’ll check again and update this list).
While I tend to think rankings still get too much attention, you usually won’t get much organic search traffic if you don’t appear fairly prominently on search engine results pages.
I don’t currently track injury attorney rankings in Savannah, GA, so I don’t really know how much Casino’s Super Bowl ad shifted relevant results there (contact me if you have insight on this).
I will say that on the few spot-checks I performed (un-personalized browser set to Savannah, GA), Casino’s sites didn’t dominate. In fact, for the handful of head terms I reviewed, he seemed to appear solely in local results (which isn’t terrible). Nonetheless, there were several Savannah PI firms that still outperformed his in my small sample set (again, if you’d like to see an update on this, ping me in a few weeks/months).
From a few of the posts I read, it seems that Casino got some positive attention for the ad and even some calls. Did any of those turn into new clients for him? That’s a question for him to answer.
Since the cost of producing and airing this video must have been relatively high, my guess would be that he would need to see some pretty large cases (or large number of cases) to be able to see a direct positive return on investment.
Of course, there’s the “awareness” aspect, which is more difficult to evaluate, especially in the short-term.
I’d be curious to see traffic reports and GWT trends data for his site for time periods before and after the ad.
Should you do something like this?
From an awareness standpoint, Casino’s ad was extremely effective. A LOT of people were exposed to him and his firm. Some people were entertained and even impressed. Other people (especially a lot of lawyers) were disgusted. Some even questioned whether the ad meets advertising ethics muster.
As I previously state, not an approach that I would take. I don’t subscribe to the notion that all publicity is good publicity.
There are foreseeable consequences of marketing in this manner.
Consequences to the lawyer’s reputation and potentially license to practice.
Consequences for the lawyer’s clients.
And these consequences ought to be carefully considered.
However, from a purely internet marketing perspective, the ad did:
- Get people talking
- Earn attention
- Get widely shared
- Motivate discussion
- Covered by major sites
- Widely linked to
And these are at least some of the metrics you should consider in measuring your law firm’s SEO campaigns.
So, should you do this? Probably not.
However, should you do something like this, that builds awareness and earns the kind of attention that you want from the people you want to attract? Absolutely.
Reputation > SEO
Of course, your professional reputation is always more valuable than your visibility in search results. Being found is necessary, but not sufficient. After all, what people see when they find you matters: