The world of content marketing is amazing.
During some research for our upcoming Digital Performance Index, I came across this reality TV-style video from Kennedy's, the first episode in the firm's third season showcasing six young claims professionals completing tasks related to the challenges the claims market currently faces.
It's a content style we might see more of from the legal industry in the future. A highly entertaining yet industry-specific piece with very good production value and loads of personality.
Hosted by Partner Chris Dunn, Claims Apprentice is a mix of brand, content and entertainment that, as Kennedy's homepage says "thinks ahead".
Brand, entertainment, personality and selling
Entertainment and marketing have a long history together, with the lines blurring together more and more. The very concept of a soap opera has its origins in US radio as a way for soap manufacturers to reach consumers.
Fast forward to 2022 and Love Island's brand partnership with eBay as a way for the second-hand behemoth to position itself as a more planet-friendly way for audiences to "shop the look".
What Claims Apprentice represents is a step further than even this. It's a complete crossover between the product and the content - and it's something that I think has potential in a professional services context.
Product and content are colliding
The original soap operas featured an ad at the end for the era's equivalent of Old Spice soap, the iconic sitcom "Friends" regularly featured Pepsi, Oreos and Nike as more subtle (for the time) product placements.
Today, you don't need the backing of a major studio to create content that will earn attention. A phone, some simple lights and you are away. This has led to the rise of the content creator. A new category of business thriving on both the ad revenues from social media platforms, but also selling their own products.
YouTuber Logan Paul reportedly earned over $45 million in 2021 and launched a sports drink earlier this year alongside fellow YouTube personality KSI.
In these instances, entertainer and product are essentially the same. The entertainment personality and the business are inseparable. The digital content these businesses produce are a way to build attention, interest, desire and ultimately sales from their audience.
The opportunity for Professional Services
I'm not suggesting that we are going to see a load of junior insurance claims handlers go mega viral on TikTok, or even suggesting that law firms should have a TikTok.
There are clear and obvious differences between content creators and professional services firms. But one equally clear similarity is that product and content in professional services firms are tied so closely tied together.
Demonstrating the knowledge, capability and personality of your firm's professionals is essential to position your firm in the market as a leader.
That's what makes content like Claims Apprentice exciting. It does what good professional services marketing content should do - it positions the people, knowledge and personalities of the firm as obvious choices for clients and prospects.
The show isn't without opportunities for improvement either. By catering more to the general entertainment audience, it barely scratches the surface of the deep niche audiences involved in the industry who are going to appreciate the content, become a regular watchers and ultimately purchase the services of the firm.
The best parts of the show are when we see partners at Kennedy's involved in mentoring their teams.
Claims Apprentice is still a great idea though. If Kennedy's are able to demonstrate the knowledge, capabilities and value of its people so clearly, so compellingly and in such an entertaining way, there is a real opportunity for other firms to do the same and define the future of law firm marketing.