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Foley Hoag Launches Creative Ads

Posted Sep 13, 2007 6:18 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Foley Hoag kicks off a marketing campaign this week that emphasizes its focus on clients’ businesses with eye-catching photos that are visual metaphors for the concept.

The law firm, which has offices in Boston and Washington, D.C., settled on the idea based on client research, the New York Times reports. It found that clients choose a law firm based mainly on responsiveness to client concerns and an understanding of the client’s business.

The firm offers a sneak preview on its Web site. One ad for dispute resolution, which promotes new perspectives offered by the firm, shows two men on a seesaw viewing a hilly vista and a third peering in another direction through the base. A second touting the firm’s “immersion” in a client’s business shows a man in a business suit floating in the water in an inner tube and fins.

The photos were originally shot for other publications by Rodney Smith, a photographer known for his visual metaphors. They will appear in airports in Boston and Washington, D.C., and in BusinessWeek, Forbes, Fortune and the Wall Street Journal.

Robert Sanoff, co-managing partner of Foley Hoag, told the Times the ads reflect the firm’s approach to legal matters.

“Foley’s always had enormously high energy and creativity,” he said. “We’ve handled cutting-edge and challenging matters. We have a reputation for doing things differently and being able to find solutions where other people can’t, and I think we wanted an advertising program that really somehow reflected those values.”

Another firm with a similar approach is Bingham McCutchen, which also relies on quirky photos to convey ideas. Shown at the top of the firm’s home page, the ads include a photo of an elephant riding on a hang glider to show the firm’s creative approach to legal obstacles and a picture of an ark to show the firm’s readiness for “the next tide in business.”

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