Legal Marketing Watch: Carson McDowell

Northern Ireland's largest independent law firm, Carson McDowell has been cooking up something special: their marketing and branding campaign really is something different.

While out and about in Northern Ireland I've come across a number of exciting and eye catching Carson McDowell advertising boards. This is new territory for lawyers in Northern Ireland. Such ostentatious acts were long beyond the legal establishment; the reserve rather of car dealers, global merchandisers, drinks companies and banks.

But of course, there's just that little issue of a down economy and rising digital economy to contend with.

The reality is that the global economic downturn and sluggish legal economy has changed everything. Lawyers and law practice needs to change; however this idea is taking its time to sink in and gain traction.

There have been lawyers and law firms who've been listening and who've been carving out a really nice space in the legal market.

From the fresh branding and exciting bill boards it certainly seems like Carson McDowell have been listening to the market and legal market commentators.

Here's a selection of images from my recent journeying around the province. What's important also to note is the firm's choice of location for the branding boards. All that I've seen have been placed on really busy commercial routes such as airports and business parks.

As I often say, not advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark, but advertising in the wrong place is like winking at a girl's back.

“Trying to do business without advertising is like winking in the dark; you know that you are keeping up a powerful winking, but nobody else has any idea of it.” 

Carson McDowell get this.

The first image is of a bill board located at Boucher Road retail and industrial park in south Belfast, a pretty buoyant area of what is otherwise a economically uncertain city. Smart thinking on choice of location.

The second image is located at Belfast international airport. A really busy hub for commerce and businessmen - again smart thinking from the marketing team on location selection.

It's interesting to see that the Carson McDowell website, available here showcases some of the branding images. However this is important: in comparison to the offline branding, the website is pretty weak.

I don't really want to go into this now but what is an exemplary performance offline hasn't really been backed up online. This is very important and deserves attention. Will come back to this.

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Tags: Belfast, Carson, Creative, Elephant, Ireland, Legal Marketing Watch, Marketing Blogs, McDowell, Northern, branding, More…communications, digital, economy, firms, for, law, legal, marketing, media, practice, social, twitter, wire

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Comment by Richard Pettet on April 30, 2013 at 12:48

Hi Brian, nice spot!

I'm impressed with the look of the ads, and intrigued that they've used a Chambers quote so emphatically. When I worked for Chambers I always used to ask firms how they used Chambers editorial and it usually amounted to internal pitch documents and the odd line on websites. It's nice to see it being used like this. However, I wonder how many people seeing that ad will know what on earth Chambers is? Many of the target audience of travelling business people will not know that Chambers is like the Michelin Star of the legal industry.

Love the second of the two ads. Clever, simple and cleanly executed.


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