Co-operative launches first Legal Services TV ad push

The Co-operative Legal Services has today launched a multimillion-pound TV and radio ad campaign, the first in its seven-year history, after ramping up its range of services in the past 12 months.

The Co-operative: ad campaign promotes brand's legal services offering
The Co-operative: ad campaign promotes brand's legal services offering

A recent change in law has allowed the brand to greatly increase its offering, and Ian Mackie, director of marketing at The Co-operative Legal Services, told Marketing the time was right to promote those services.

The Co-operative gained "alternative business structure" (ABS) status in April 2006, prior to which it had been restricted to products such as wills and probate. It now offers all consumers advice on employment law, family law, conveyancing and personal injury.

Mackie said: "We've now got a very broad range of services and the campaign we've created to promote those is purely based on customer insight around their fears and concerns when dealing with legal matters.

"We know it's a very anxious time for people and our purpose is to try to demystify the legal side and make it less intimidating. We've put our customers at the heart of our offering and that's what we've focused on in the ad."

The radio and terrestrial TV campaign will focus on London, while there will be national advertising on satellite TV and press advertising in Saturday and Sunday supplements.

Co-op Legal Services will also launch a YouTube channel tomorrow, with an initial seven videos giving advice on family law, rising within two weeks to a total of 17 videos across other areas of law.

Mackie said he expected the regional test campaign to "reveal a demand for our services" and to show "that people have really been waiting for the kind of solution we have".

He added that – should the ad meet expectations – it would be rolled out nationally at some point either later in the year or at the beginning of next year.

Access to justice

The campaign comes just over two months after changes to legal aid provision removed some 200,000 people a year from eligibility in family law alone, leading Mackie to say: "Our offer has never been more relevant, particularly with the changes to legal aid and the questions this raises about access to justice."

Created by ad agency Leo Burnett and directed by former barrister turned Cannes Gold Lion-winning director Jamie Rafn, the "voices of law" TV spot (below) focuses on how daunting the legal world can be to members of the public.

It features children in various settings, including offices, a library and a court, pouring over legal letters and documents, the jargon-heavy content of which are narrated by adult voices that blend into one another as the camera switches between scenes.

This monotonal voiceover is abruptly halted when one girl slams shut the legal tome she has been studying and leaves the room, only to appear in the next scene as an adult woman (in matching clothing), talking on the phone while signing a form from the Co-operative Legal Services.

According to the company, the ad aims to highlight how the complexities of the legal world can make one feel, as well as emphasising the simple and straightforward, plain-English approach used by the Co-operative Legal Services.

It concludes with the same "Here for you for life" strapline that was mooted last August, before being used on Co-op Food's Christmas ad campaign.