Legal Marketing

Winston the Bulldog Featured in New Womble Carlyle Ad Campaign

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Updated: Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice is launching four new animated ads featuring the firm’s mascot, a bulldog named Winston, first introduced in a 1996 ad campaign.

The ads use the tagline “Innovators at Law.” They are intended to send a message that the firm seeks innovative solutions to help clients succeed, says Russell Thomas, director of media and public relations for the firm.

Womble Carlyle isn’t the only law firm to use animals in its advertising. Bingham features a hang-gliding elephant and a bear cradling a baby.

“Animals have always been a huge draw in all categories of advertising–whether real or animated,” Thomas told in an e-mail. “Think of the AFLAC duck, the Geico Gekko, even Tony the Tiger.”

Womble’s ads will be rolled out first on screens in elevators in the Washington, D.C., and Atlanta areas. Related print ads will run in some editions of the Wall Street Journal and in some other publications.

In one ad, called Manage Risk Wisely, Winston goes to the end of a diving board but soon retreats. He returns with a parachute before taking the leap. Other ads feature Winston figuring out he needs to use a trampoline to leap over a high wire and a stick to glide across a tightrope. In the fourth ad, Demonstrate Evidence, Winston looks quizzically at a chart of doggie dance moves, then does some break dancing to illustrate.

Womble Carlyle introduced Winston in a 1996 ad campaign that featured the statement “Our lawyers mean business.” The dog was a big hit, the law firm says in the dog’s “bio.”

“To many of our lawyers and staff, the bulldog resembled one of our most respected senior partners—who is tenacious, loyal, sometimes pugnacious, and above all, fiercely protective of clients’ interests,” the bio says. No word on which partner Winston resembles.

“We are sworn to secrecy on the identify of our ‘bulldog’ partner,” Thomas said. “But I will say, it’s not so much the way he looks, as the way he approaches client service.”

Updated on 11/9/2007 at 6:45 PM.

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