Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

Legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus.

1410 Posts and Counting

Branding: Is This a Good Lawyer Ad?

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | July 1, 2018

No. 1,518

So, this lawyer had a mustache before there were hipsters, did he?

By putting this statement and picture on a billboard, Mr. Farah has made his mustache his law firm’s brand. What is a brand?

“A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” (American Marketing Association).

Let’s unpack this ad for the law firm of Farah & Farah.  There are six word in the one-sentence message.  The key words are:

(1) Winning;

(2) mustache and

(3) hipsters.

The ad doesn’t explicitly say that Farah  & Farah is a law firm.  You have to figure that out from context.  The word “winning” is the giveaway.  Trial lawyers are always talking about winning in their advertising. Like the Shenderovich twins: “No fee unless they win. And they win!” Nobody but lawyers brag about winning in their ads, except maybe sports teams.

Farah and Farah  implicitly claims to have been winning for a long time: “before mustaches were for hipsters.”

Photo: Wikipedia

The reference to hipsters is, of course, targeted to the 99.9% of the population who do not identify themselves as hipsters. Since it is generally used as a derogatory term, maybe nobody does.

Hipsters are the friends who sneer when you cop to liking Coldplay. They’re the people who wear t-shirts silk-screened with quotes from movies you’ve never heard of and the only ones in America who still think Pabst Blue Ribbon is a good beer. They sport cowboy hats and berets and think Kanye West stole their sunglasses. Everything about them is exactingly constructed to give off the vibe that they just don’t care.”— Time, July 2009, quoted in Wikipedia.

Even if you never heard of those hipsters, you’ll get the gist. So nobody will be left out of the joke.

Wikipedia, in its post on the subject, has published a photo of a stereotypical hipster. (look left) Appears a little like Farah, doesn’t he? Except, of course, Farrah wouldn’t be caught dead in the hipster’s get-up and vice-versa.

Is Farah’s mustache an effective brand? Is the billboard successful in advertising the firm of Farah & Farah?

It delivers a short message that can be observed and understood in a few seconds. The message is memorable, too.  If I asked you tomorrow what you know about a law firm called Farah & Farah, there is a very good chance that you will remember the mustache.

On the other hand, you probably won’t know for sure what kind of lawyer Farah is.  Maybe that’s too much to expect from a glance at a billboard.  If the viewers of the sign  just remember the name, that’s a big win.  And if they remember Farrah, even subliminally, as a winner, that’s a bonanza.

Of course, having a mustache doesn’t make you a good anything. But it might make you stand out in a room full of clean shaven men in suits. Think of the Smith Brothers and their beards.  The Shenderovich brothers have made a recognizable brand out of just being twins. Justice Max Baer was elected to the Supreme Court, in part, because he had a memorable name.

Branding can and should consist of more than a mustache or twinship.  But its a start.





CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

  • Recent Posts

  • Posts You Might Like

  • Subscribe to our feed