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Smoothing a litigation firm’s sharp edges.

When launching an aggressive marketing campaign and website for a top litigation firm, we wanted them to be perceived as tough and strong, but still approachable.  Here’s how we walked that fine line, without weakening the campaign:

Hedrick Gardner is one of North Carolina’s top litigation firms — 100 lawyers with hard-core trial skills. They resolve their clients’ business, worker’s comp, and insurance matters efficiently, but are quite happy to pick a jury when the case or situation merits it.

Many commercial litigators are terrified to go to trial (I worked with many of them back when I was a litigator myself).  Deep down, they’re more likely to settle on the courthouse steps, to avoid going to trial.  Their willingness to take a case to trial gives Hedrick Gardner clients a big advantage.  This led to the “We Don’t Blink” tag line, and a variety of analogous headlines, like “We never back down from a fight.”

Here’s the new home page:

I absolutely love this firm and this brand.

With art photography and in-your-face headlines, we show that the Hedrick Gardner lawyers are strong, tough, skilled, and confident. Marketing Communications Coordinator Alyson Willis (a wedding photographer herself) and Marketing Event Coordinator Sara Snavely supervised the chosen photographer to ensure the lawyers’ expressions walked a fine line – powerful, but not jerks. Fearless, but not mean. Direct, but not harsh.  This is important because we want to show prospects that they’re also friendly and approachable.

That is, you sure don’t want to oppose them at trial, but you’d be happy to grab a beer with them after work.

Here’s Tonya’s strong, confident, branding photo for the home page:

So, to reduce any possibility that the home page banners might convey to prospects that the lawyers are harsh, we asked them to smile in their biography photos, to show their genial personalities.  You know, just in case.  Here’s Tonya’s friendly headshot:

See the point?

Here are some juxtaposed comparisons, below: 

We think these materials are pretty powerful – dramatic and eye catching, but still appropriate for a law firm that had not done any previous marketing of this type.  This is a pretty big first step.

Nice job, guys.