Closed Captioning Opens New Possibilities

by David Rumsey | August 27, 2015

2000px-Closed_captioning_symbol.svgPersonal injury lawyers are in the people-helpin’ business. By extension (I’m proud to say), so are we! As an ad agency that exclusively represents personal injury law firms, our commercials speak to people from all walks of life. But for some reason, we’ve been under-communicating with one segment of the population.

That’s about to change.

The Cycle of Silence

As you know, closed captioning (CC) is the text representation of the soundtrack of a video, film, TV show, or commercial. The hearing impaired rely on these scrolling words to follow the dialogue, sound effects, music cues, song lyrics, and other key aural information.

But while the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has long required that TV sets be equipped with closed captioning decoders, the FCC has NEVER insisted that American advertisers create closed captioned commercials. A vicious cycle emerged: The feds didn’t require it, so the advertisers didn’t offer it, and most (not all) clients didn’t ask for it.

Whenever a client DID request captioning, we had to outsource the work to an outside vendor, adding cost and delays to the delivery process. Consequently, closed captioning has been largely absent from the lawyer-advertising landscape.

At cj Advertising, we’re breaking the cycle. We purchased state-of-the-art software that allows us to embed closed captioning on our commercials. By doing it ourselves, we can encode spots faster, cheaper, and with better finesse than the third-party services we were using. So far, it’s been a total win-win.

The Benefits of Doing the Right Thing

By adding closed captioning, we’re meeting the demand of hearing-impaired viewers and discovering some smart opportunities along the way. Consider these very sage reasons to include CC:

  • Expand your brand’s reach. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, approximately 36 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss.
  • Target a demographic. Closed captions benefit millions of people who are learning English as a second language.
  • Engage existing viewers. Owners of televisions in high-traffic public places, such as waiting rooms, airports, bars, or gyms, mitigate noise pollution by displaying CC on-screen.
  • Differentiate yourself. Very few firms are including CC. You could be the first in your market!
  • The cost is minimal. We’re providing closed captioning at half the cost of third-party vendors.

So the next time you place an order for new spots or need to revise an old one, request close captioning. It’s smart, affordable, and helps an underserved segment of the public.

Sounds like something a personal injury lawyer would do.