Marketing Mystery

“Finding a lawyer is a real pain. Trust me.”

OK, I admit I have zero expertise in marketing. But I’m a consumer like everyone else, so I do have some idea of what works and what doesn’t work, on me, at least. And when someone – e.g. the person quoted above – asks me to trust them, it seems to me that the request ought to be coming from someone I might trust.

I bring this up because an outfit called Lawyer.com has hired a celebrity spokesperson to promote its business of selling legal services plans and finding lawyers for people out of a pool of lawyers who pay Lawyer.com for referrals.

Desperate litigants, meet desperate lawyers. This doesn’t sound like good matching.

But maybe I’m being too cynical. I am, after all, cynical for a living. If a credible celebrity spokesperson came along, maybe I’d see this in a different light.

Meet Lawyer.com’s celebrity spokesperson:

Well, Lawyer.com, you do have my attention. Of course, accidents on the freeway get my attention too. Why would anyone think that plastering Lindsay Lohan’s picture on their website would inspire people to hire them?

I could see her promoting, say, legal marijuana or artisanal vodka, but lawyers?

Admittedly, the woman does have experience with attorneys and she’s familiar with the court system. If you’re not familiar with Lindsay Lohan, I highly recommend scouring the internet for stories about her. I was greatly entertained for quite a while before beginning this column. I have so many favorite items.

Like this quote in February in a W Magazine article: “With blonde hair, you really have to maintain and everything I wear is different. You feel like you have to be blonde. And I don’t want to have to feel like that in life.”

In 2012, CNN felt compelled to publish a “timeline” of Lohan’s assorted legal problems up to that point – including community service at the county morgue. I have no idea what sort of service that would be but I’m picturing her cutting up bodies and cracking jokes. Somebody’s got to cut up bodies and crack jokes. Why not a famous actress?

According to other recent internet stories, Lohan is designing an island in Dubai (whatever that means), she’s got a makeup and jewelry line, and she may owe more than $100,000 in back taxes.

And then there’s this from a December People story: “’She’s blonde and happy and she looks good,’ a friend told People earlier this month.”

I’m so confused.

The other side of the coin confounds me too – why would Lindsay Lohan want to endorse Lawyer.com? Is she that impressed with their service? Did they once find her a lawyer? Is she hoping to get a good tax lawyer out of this?

Sure, there’s some financial incentive – the website explains that Lindsay’s “compensation includes a substantial option ownership position in the company.” So she’s really got to want this to succeed.

I guess that’s why, according to the website, “Each month she meets and brainstorms with Lawyer.com management on new strategies to raise Lawyer.com’s awareness, including producing compelling content …”

And there it is! The compelling content – four Lindsay videos!

I recommend binge-watching them, although by far the best one is “Team Building with Lindsay Lohan,” which seems to have nothing to do with either team building or lawyers.

You’ll be inspired.

I was still having trouble, though, understanding the spiritual connection between

Lindsay Lohan and lawyers until the American Bar Association – as if somehow mystically intuiting my puzzlement from afar – explained it in part of a tweet sent out last week:

“Lawyers struggle disproportionately with substance abuse, mental health, and general job dissatisfaction.”

Ah. Now I get it.

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