This is not an ad asking anyone to vote for or against something. It’s a category of ad most of us hate even more than political ads. It’s a trial lawyer ad. And when we got asked to make one, we decide, right away, we’d apply the same techniques our industry uses for political persuasion, to the challenge of getting people to sign up with a lawyer.
We’ve all seen these ads before. If you’ve been harmed by XYZ, sign up and you can get millions. Well, the people of Paradise, CA mostly didn’t want millions, they just wished they had their old life back. Nestled high in the hills above Chico, CA, Paradise was a lovely, wooded, quiet town of mostly retirees. When wildfires caused by the power company’s negligence grew out of control the entire town was quickly overrun by a massive fireball. 83 people lost their lives. Getting rich is the last thing on anyone’s mind.
We decided we needed to make an appeal not to people’s greed, but to their altruism. Come together, join forces, send a message, and organize so this never happens again to anyone. That was our message.
The day the ads started running, calls to the hotline Tripled. Maybe we struck a chord. And this ad was honored by Campaigns & Elections with a Reed Award for Best TV Ad for Public Affairs/Issue Advocacy Campaign.