Tarkenton Scrambles for Business in DRTV Spots

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Pre-Paid Legal Services, a national network of lawyers offering discount legal services, has begun its first direct response television campaign, with NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton as spokesman.

The national campaign will recruit sales associates through 30-second, 60-second and two-minute ads. The ads open with the image of a man jogging on a treadmill and reaching toward a bag of money. They feature Tarkenton explaining the history of the legal network as well as the sales model and earning potential of a sales associate.

The ads, which will run on both cable and syndicated networks, also include user testimonials.

"We selected Tarkenton because he views himself as more of a businessman than an ex-football player. He started his first successful business at the age of 28 while in the NFL," said Bob Yallen, president of Inter/Media, the agency responsible for full management of the campaign.

Pre-Paid Legal Services, Ada, OK, is a national network of lawyers that provides consumers and small businesses with legal services for a monthly membership fee. For $25 monthly, consumers have access to legal consultation, will services, traffic litigation services and other civil litigation services. The company provides plans for home businesses and small businesses at costs ranging from $39.50 to $125 per month, Tarkenton said.

The target audience for both sales associates and users is individuals age 25 to 54 with an annual income of at least $30,000.

"As the economy slows down, opportunities such as this one to earn extra income present themselves very positively in consumers' minds," Yallen said.

While the campaign's primary purpose is to recruit representatives, Yallen said he expects the campaign to raise brand awareness to consumers seeking legal services.

"We used short form because I don't need 30 minutes to tell the story of Pre-Paid Legal Services," Tarkenton said. He said using short form reduces the company's media budget and increases its marketing reach.

He added that during the company's 29-year history, it has relied on limited newspaper advertising and word-of-mouth marketing.

The ads direct viewers to a toll-free number to order a free Financial Freedom Kit detailing the program. Those who sign up for the sales associate program are charged a $249 membership and training fee and $25 per month for access to the company's services. Consumers who call within 30 minutes after the advertisement runs receive a free three-month membership to Tarkenton's business tips Web site, www.gosmallbiz.com.

The company also will run local versions of the ad directing viewers to a toll-free number for making reservations to attend local orientation seminars for the sales associate program. Pre-Paid Legal Services is running print ads in regional newspapers to complement the local DRTV effort, Yallen said.

Pre-Paid Legal Services has at least one representative law firm in each state, Tarkenton said.

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