If you have operated a motor vehicle within Dallas’ city limits in the last, say, six to eight months, you have seen one of the billboards pictured here. If you have driven on Grand Avenue, where there are (or were, last time I was there) four of these within about a mile of I-30, you might not know any other billboards exist.
They are for personal injury attorney Aaron A. Herbert. You would be forgiven if that piece of information has escaped you. No doubt the slogan is what that you remember: “Better Call Aaron.” And in that respect, it is a good bit of advertising, because it is memorable. On various other levels, of which I have admittedly thought about too much, it is not. I guess this is a long way of saying that I have some questions.
- Do you think Herbert has seen Breaking Bad? That, of course, is where the slogan is borrowed from, specifically from bus-bench lawyer Saul Goodman. He is the subject of this scene, wherein meth-cook-with-a-heart-of-gold Jesse Pinkman says, “When the going gets tough, you don’t want a criminal lawyer. You want a criminal lawyer.” Better Caul Saul gives Goodman more nuance, but where the character ends up is still criminal lawyer.
- If that is really what Herbert wants, to be known as the go-to criminal lawyer, he needs to lean all the way into it. Give me a couple of people up there with fake casts and neck braces holding big-ass checks. It couldn’t cost much more than he’s already spending.
- OK but he probably does not want to be a criminal lawyer and I’m sure he’s not a criminal lawyer. He just wants to siphon off a little shine from two popular TV series. And that’s fine and great. So in that case, why not actually try to tighten the connection and just attempt to look a little like Bob Odenkirk’s Saul. Would it kill Herbert to wear a mustard shirt with a matching mustard tie? Or maybe he’d prefer something in a swimming-pool blue? And maybe a smile? I mean, do it or don’t, my guy.
- Also here’s an easy fix that probably won’t get him sued because the rhythm (or lack thereof) of his take on the slogan is killing me: ladies and gentleman, introducing Dallas personal injury attorney Paul “Aaron” Herbert. Or Paul Aaron Herbert. I don’t know. It’s up to him. But “Better Call Paul” is obviously better and it also makes you think of Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul and that’s good, too. It doesn’t cost a lot of money to change your name and it doesn’t take a genius to see that he should have. I came up with the idea around the time when I typed “do it or don’t, my guy.”