44. The Bart Durham Soap Opera — If you're as confused as I am trying to follow the plot of Bart Durham's "Nashville Soap Opera" TV ads, I'm glad to know I'm not alone. The scantily clad women, the Miami Vice-style boats, the never-ending plot. This is the best thing to happen to Nashville television since those "You're Still a Player" car loan ads. Plot got you all twisted up? Catch up on past episodes, get to know the cast and, best of all, read all about why Bart Durham—a law firm—is even doing these ads in the first place at www.bdurhamlaw.com. After all the episodes have aired, they will show a 30-minute movie all at once, so don't feel like you've missed out on a thing. — HD
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: 2006-06-07, 4:31PM CDT
HA I know those are the dumbest thing! I know some "Commerical" sales person is still high fiving each other over those. Wow, wonder who thought those were a good ideal? The "Postroski" procedure? What the hell is that?
Bart Durham Rolls out 20-Part TV Campaign
January 26, 2006
By Ken Whitehouse
Nashvillians have been familiar with local attorney Bart Durham since 1978 when he became one of the first lawyers in Nashville to advertise after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a ban prohibiting such was unconstitutional.
Viewers have been familiar with his spots that have featured clients giving favorable testimonials of their experience with Durham’s office. In the past few years, the Durham ad campaign has begun to feature the addition of Durham’s son Blair to the practice.
Last month, Durham unveiled a new ad campaign that is unusual for law firms and for television in general. The new ad campaign is a 20-part serial that will run over the course of the next two years in the Middle Tennessee media market. Produced by Apple Productions of San Antonio, Texas, the commercials were shot over the course of two years and on locations in Nashville, San Antonio, and Malibu, Calif. Pam Wheeler, marketing director for Durham, said the firm also plans to air all 20 commercials together as a 30 minute special infomercial.
Blair Durham said the firm spent approximately $300,000 shooting the serial. Those costs included the obvious fees such as paying for actors and film, but also for the rental of beach houses, boats, and a Ferrari sports car that will be seen in future episodes.
When asked who came up with the concept for the commercial, Apple Productions was credited, though Blair Durham added, “My dad (Bart Durham) is in charge of marketing and managerial aspects of the firm. He doesn’t actively practice law anymore.” He went on to say that his father is the sole proprietor of the firm and keeps an eye out for new and innovative ways to promote the company.
Arnie Malham, president of Nashville-based CJ Advertising, which handles advertising for legal firms in 30 states, said, “While we don’t represent Mr. Durham, he has broken ground for legal advertising. I think they are pushing the envelope and I admire him for their creativity.”
There is a perception among some in the legal field that the advertising of legal services on television is bad for the industry. Allan Ramsaur, executive director of the Tennessee Bar Association said, “Traditionally, lawyers have frowned on ads for legal services. The courts have ruled that there is that constitutional right, but most attorneys still frown upon it.”
The blog entry below is taken frrom webslog at:
Frequent readers of WebSlog (both of you) might recall about an infomercial being developed by Bart Durham, a Nashville attorney.
Flipping around a couple of nights ago, I caught "Coach Foster Fights Back," a serialized dramatization of a personal injury trial fought and won by Durham. The show runs in one- or two-minute segments wherever Bart can buy time cheap and drives viewers to the firm’s websiteto view more clips or catch up on previous ones.
The story line is pretty straight forward. The acting is somewhere between Univision novellas and Lifetime made-for-tv movies. One can imagine that the various characters in the serial will be broadly drawn characitures … the earnest doctor reporting the paralyzation of the title character following a collision with a truck. The re-po man with the heart of gold but a job to do. The fresh-faced young lawyer in to protect a working man’s rights against the heartless juggernaut of the truck drivers insurnace company and lawyers.
It’s a local adaptation of a national spate of serialized long-form TV commercials that BMW, NBC and others have been dabbling in. Call it Infomercials for the TiVo generation. I haven’t seen a huge amount of local chatter on Coach Foster but I’ll bet this goes over huge for Durham in generating new business.
On a larger scale, tactics like this can call as ad people up short.
It’s no secret that we hipster adkrafters often (over)regard what we do as part art and part science. And with that regard comes, at times, an overinflated belief in the mid- to long-term social impact of what we do. The fact is that we work on campaigns that speak to a buyer in the language he aspires to speak and hopefully sell some stuff in the process. Not every consumer uses the same words or understands the words the same way we do.
There’s a reason that personal trial lawyer spots often start out with the question "Have you been hurt in an auto accident?" It’s simple. It’s direct. And it rings straight through to the poor schmuck who lays carpet all day and has no health insurance. "You work hard," the spot tells us. "You got hurt. And now, your employer wants to get this matter behind him, probably screwing you in the process."
I throw out my back loading brochures into my car and a) my insurance pays for my treatment, b) my company goes out of its way to help me recover, including, possible, covering my out-of-pocket. They do it to lessen their liability but also because it’s the right thing to do.
Now, if I blow out my knees laying carpet for Major Homebuilders Amalgamated, Inc. and I can’t work anymore, what am I going to do? Can’t get Social Security yet. Don’t have long-term disability insurance. SOmeone’s going to pay. And then I see the Coach Foster thing on TV.
What do you in the WebSlog Army think I’m going to do? What would you do?