Ever wonder why marketing the law is so prevalent in Las Vegas?
Edward M. Bernstein might be the reason. . .
On Thursday, June 2, 2022, the Las Vegas chapter of American Marketing Association welcomed Vegas Legal Icon, Edward M. Bernstein to speak on Marketing the Law in Las Vegas.
This luncheon concluded the AMA calendar year in which the passing of the gavel went from the current AMA chapter President, Matt Seltzer, who passed the gavel onto the incoming President, Jason Soto.
Luncheons will pick back up in August 2022, location tbd.
Legal Marketing in Las Vegas
Prior to late 1970, it was illegal to market for attorneys. The tradition up until this time was that the family’s lawyer would refer the family to a personal injury or criminal lawyer – while receiving a generous finder’s fee (kickback).
Edward Bernstein found the blue skies he was searching for in Las Vegas after growing up in Philadelphia, and he observed a newbie to the advertising world – Sunrise Hospital, targeting the community to drive weekend business.
Ed thought to himself, “If a hospital can advertise – why can’t I?” And from that moment forward, the landscape for legal marketing in the Las Vegas valley would be forever marked and modeled after his efforts.
Starting in the late 1970’s, Ed’s slogan was “Tip the scales of justice your way.” Which was catchy enough to get him in hot water with his colleagues – Bernstein was advertising that he somehow could accomplish something his competition couldn’t.
After a little back and forth, the next slogan revolved around a series of commercials with the steps to take in the event of an accident. The commercial would start with “The 2nd step to take is . . .” or “The 3rd step to take is . . .” and would end with the messaging that calling Ed Bernstein was the first step. The series included 8 steps in total and was received well by the Las Vegas locals.
It wasn’t hard for Edward M. Bernstein & Associates to stand out in the legal marketing world, because he was the trailblazer. Up until Ed jumped into the game, there weren’t television, radio, or billboard ads featuring a message that if you needed a personal injury attorney – “Enough said. Call Ed.”
Ed recounts that he thought of his baldness as part of his slogan, which is the main reason he featured his headshot on his billboards. As anyone who has travelled to Las Vegas can attest – legal marketing is plastered with headshots in the billboard advertising world.
Speaking of traveling to Las Vegas, a creative concept that Ed started in the late 80’s is what we would consider today, as a podcast. Including segments on legal education, exercise, politics, movie reviews and a guest interview, Ed reminded the AMA luncheon audience that EVERYONE comes to Las Vegas eventually. His guests ranged from United States presidents to Jerry Springer.
During the luncheon, Ed was personable, humble, and engaging – many times receiving a good laugh from the 50 plus attendees who were listening. The most memorable takeaway for me was when he explained his early thoughts on his marketing efforts, “To have a reputation you can live with.” As we all strive to be the best version of ourselves, lead by example, and live by our core values, it was heart warming to hear someone who had gained so much success as an “ambulance chaser” [his words not mine] – was so thoughtful in the delivery of his law firm’s marketing efforts.
Ed hasn’t slowed in his creativity either – as the Vegas Golden Knights (Las Vegas’s Hockey Team) Penalty Box Sponsor, he has proven to continue to carve a niche in pockets of the Las Vegas valley. Another creative marketing tactic is his partnership with the local DMV. As locals await their number to be called, Edward M. Bernstein & Associates marketing messaging keeps them company visually on the screens which display the numbers and counter assignment. Pretty cool idea in my book [or blog] . . .
When asked about the most effective forms of marketing, he admitted that advertising is widely immeasurable, and we really don’t know how effective OTT, Media, Social, Direct, etc efforts are – and in his line of work, conducting a survey to understand how their customer found them seems inappropriate. The AMA luncheon audience silently concurred with his sentiment.
In closing, Ed agreed that the Las Vegas valley does have the highest lawyer advertising per capita than other regions and it may be largely due to his spearheading his own marketing initiatives. He celebrates that he is grateful he came into a market before it was oversaturated and he looks forward to the new digital marketing he will create outside of the personal injury sector of law – but he wasn’t sharing any insights just yet!
The conversation was led by Jingle Master, Peter Radd of Raddtunes. If you are a Vegas local, you have heard his craftwork in commercials like Zerorez Carpet Cleaners, Findlay Auto Sales, Kia, and so many more.
I got a super humbling surprise by receiving the American Marketing Association Board Rising Star Award. I am really enjoying my work with AMA and look forward to this coming year as I take on VP of Social Media for the organization.
As always, thank you for reading and hope this brought value to your day.
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