Legal Aid Society to Debut PSAs

Natural lighting, off-camera violence and reality-based situations characterize a new campaign for The Legal Aid Society.

The pro bono effort, the client’s first from Pedone & Partners in New York, features three 30-second spots slated to launch in early June. The ads, which reenact inci dents that be came civil cases for the New York-based group, use onscreen copy and incidental noises for effect.

One spot quietly begins by showing a trophy. Copy reads, “Angela entered the E.R. at 7:52 pm.” Cut to Angela at home with her baby, greeting her husband. The trophy appears again with the copy, “Her head wrapped in a bloody towel.” After the ad notes that she burned dinner, and her husband grabbed the first thing he could find, a scream pierces the air. “She needs us,” the copy adds. “And we need you.”

Another spot reveals a shoe lying in a street. It relates how Mrs. Naza rio couldn’t pay her rent on time and was dragged by her landlord into the street. She is shown there crying for help. The effort’s tagline: “Help.”

Tom Cook, shop evp, creative director, said the idea is to show how the society, which offers free legal services to those who can’t otherwise afford them, helps with civil cases, not just criminal ones. “We needed to be shocking but real,” he noted. He said the ads solicit funds not just from big law firms—the group’s traditional supporters for criminal cases—but also the general public.

“We wanted to position ourselves as … an organization vitally involved in the life of the city,” said Danny Greenberg, society president and attorney-in-chief.

The spots, lensed by Jesus’ Son director Alison Mac Lean, are set to run on major TV stations and cable systems in the New York area.

In the client’s most recent work, done with the School of Visual Arts, ac tor Ossie Davis lauded the society’s services. Pedone won the project about six months ago without a review.