Keeping safe matters… but reassuring everyone we are still here also matters…

Digby Brown TV advert 2020 - still open and here to help during COVID19

Like thousands of other businesses across Scotland and beyond, Digby Brown Solicitors has temporarily shut its seven offices across Scotland to ensure we adhere to social distancing and do our bit to combat the spread of COVID-19.

And like many businesses, we advertise our services frequently across a range of media including STV and a variety of commercial radio stations.  However, overnight, all our worlds turned upside down as the whole country entered lockdown and the creative messages used to promote Digby Brown were just not appropriate.

As a modern law firm, it was still sensible to continue to advertise. We have been advertising now since 2013 without a break. It wouldn’t be prudent to suddenly disappear off the radar in the face of this global pandemic. It was also important to us to maintain our commitment to our media suppliers. 

So, we needed to create a new advert. Two new adverts to be exact – one for radio and one for TV. “Simples…” to steal another advertiser’s copy line.  

Actually not “Simples”. We’re all now in lockdown. So how do we do it? 

Let’s start at the beginning. What did we want to say? Two key messages: Please everyone stay safe and Digby Brown are still open, working remotely. We wanted to reassure our existing clients, many thousands of them, that we can still work securely on their cases even though all our solicitors across the country are now working at home and, for anyone looking for legal help, we are very much open and can still help.

All good ideas are usually simple ideas. We all know the use of video calling has exploded - FaceTime, Webex, WhatsApp, Zoom, Google Duo… the list goes on and on. So, the idea was staring us in the face. Use the technology already available to show exactly what we are doing. Working, communicating, interacting, from our homes all across Scotland from Ayr to Inverness, Aberdeen to Edinburgh. 

Of course, we needed some other key ingredients. First, we had to secure our trademark voice over - Ron Donachie, star of Game of Thrones, DI John Rebus, Titantic, The Jungle Book, Dr Who…. We’d argue that his dulcet tones pronouncing, “Because if it matters to you, it matters to Digby Brown,” must be the pinnacle of his career!  One call was all that was needed to find Ron, at home and available to work. How to record him for broadcast quality – more on that later…

The rest was all quite straightforward. Our existing video production company, Proud Motion, were available, with all their editing equipment safely set up at home. David McKinnon, owner of the company, had already directed and produced our last three commercials, so he knew what we were looking for.

Sound dubbing was organised through Graeme at Pacific Audio, again working remotely and without the need for anyone to have to meet. The advert scripts were talked through and agreed over a number of remote meetings. Final scripts were written and submitted online as normal for compliance.

Individuals from across the seven Digby Brown offices were approached and asked if they would take part in the production and allow us to record their video calls. The use of Dropbox and WeTransfer allowed large video files to be sent over broadband. It was all coming together nicely and in pretty quick time.

The videos were recorded. The editing of the advert was underway. All we needed was Ron’s voice over. But Ron doesn’t have a recording studio set up in his house...hmmm.

He is, however, extremely resourceful and he does have a video camera and microphone for sending in auditions online. (Who knew that was a thing?) 

The first test was perfect. Excellent. The real thing was not so great. It was pretty windy at the beginning of April when Ron was recording and that background noise came through loud and clear.

Take two and the advice from our sound technician was, “Ask Ron to put a duvet over his head and microphone to block out the exterior noise.” We never saw photographic evidence but the quality of the next recording was perfect.

The adverts were passed for broadcast and went live on Tuesday 6th April across Scotland - from idea to airing in 7 days.

Challenge completed and a huge thank you to everyone involved in making “Keeping safe matters.” If you haven’t seen or heard them, here are the links: