Cellino and Barnes
Eight hundred eight eight eight
Eight eight eight eight.
Gosh, I love that jingle so much. I love a lot of jingles but this one is one of the ones that sticks with you no matter how much you try to get rid of it. I didn’t mind that it stuck though. It was fun to sing. Which is why when I found out that Cellino and Barnes were pretty much splitting up, it was pretty sad for me. Not because the people of New York would have one less unit on their side, but because I was worried about what would happen to the jingle (I know, I know. #Priorites).
Just to give you a background on who Cellino and Barnes are and what this situation is about:
- Cellino and Barnes are injury lawyers that operate out of the state of New York. They have been in the business for 50 years and they cover a range of injury lawsuits including slip and falls, vehicular accidents and a bunch of other boring things. Ross Cellino Jr. and Steven Barnes are the head honchos over there. (cellinoandbarnes.com, n.d.)
- After years of fighting together, Cellino now says he wants to sue Barnes and dissolve the company.
- There are two main speculations about the split. One of them being Cellino’s and Barnes’ clashing personalities. Cellino was laid back while Barnes was the strict businessman. This caused a lot of shouting matches within the office. The other because of nepotism. It is alleged that Cellino is mad at Barnes because Barnes did not hire Cellino’s daughter back in 2012 even though Barnes’ girlfriend AND brother were working in the firm. It was also speculated that this is what caused the rift between the two. (Boyle, 2017)
- Barnes doesn’t want the company to be dissolved. He wants them to stay together and on May 19th, Barnes went off to court to contend Cellino’s dissolution lawsuit. In the meantime, an attorney for Barnes stated that the firm would continue operations in spite of the impending split. (Spectrum News Staff, 2017)
Now, all of this is extremely unfortunate. I mean, not only is the flow of work disrupted but their clients may suffer because they’ll be in limbo upon the terms of the split depending on who gets what share. But that happens all the time and they can find their way through it. But what frightens me is that an ad that has integrated itself into our lives and that is such a good example of “less is more” is about to be possibly wiped off the airwaves for pettiness.
What happens when a business dissolves is this: all debts are paid, all debts are collected, tangible and intangible assets are liquidated and if it’s a partnership or limited liability that sharing is subject to portion of the business owed (not in that order, of course) (“What Does Dissolving A Company Mean?”, n.d.) . Of course, the name of that business more than likely out of commission and all of the work that has been performed over the years basically becomes null and void. If that is the case, how do you split a great jingle?
They don’t really have resources on what happens to jingles or even advertisements and I don’t remember being taught in any of my law classes or marketing lectures anything about what happens to popular marketing materials upon the dissolution of a company. They just say that the company’s assets are liquidated. Jingles are assets so I’m making an informed guess that the jingle would be liquidated as well. But sell it to who? And what would they do with it? If they sell it off, we will obviously remember whose jingle it is and it would do no good to whoever owns said jingle. I highly doubt another firm would purchase it because honestly, commercials are what I’d like to call associating elements of a business’ identity. They cement in our mind who that business is and what they stand for. If another law firm stupidly buys it, customers are going to think of that company as the company that stole that catchy jingle. Also, it will make it even harder to expunge the memory of Cellino and Barnes from the minds of the customer, even if you remix it a bit.
I don’t think other firms will quite want it either. Another part of the story that I read on this issue was that other firms may not be sad to see them go. In fact, a source talking to The Daily Mail (2017) claimed that other firms hated Cellino and Barnes because they actively sought to take away their customers. Now, I believe that is a cry baby excuse to not like the competition but I get it. More for you if you’re a firm and they break up, right? Who wouldn’t be happy? I believe other firms would quicker by it on iTunes and play it as a background track for one of their office parties so that they can revel in the glory of failure.
Will other companies outside of the law business purchase it? Probably. It’s a popular enough jingle and has enough traction. But like I said, we’re obviously gonna remember whose jingle it is. You’d have to be very brave to venture near those waters and quite talented. Now that I’ve given it thought, it could be remixed as a parody and used in a commercial IF a company decides to buy it. That way, if it’s funny enough, that would change customers’ minds about the association with this law firm through humour. However, humour is tricky to get just right just because it is subjective. So, hey, if you can handle it, I say go for it.
More than likely, I believe that both parties would have it archived rather than just sold off. You know how teams retire players’ shirts and stuff? They’ll probably find a way to retire it of sorts. They probably don’t want to lose the rights to such a great song by selling it off because it is one of their labels. Oscar Mayer did it to two of their jingles so apparently, it is very possible (Stanley, 2016). And I highly doubt if this dissolution lawsuit continues that Cellino will want Barnes to have it. So, again, just making an educated guess – they’ll retire it. I think I will have much more peace if they do. Because no other company will stand out in MY mind with that jingle as their jingle. No company.
This is a sad event. But in the end, I think all of us who love this jingle would be much more content to know that the jingle would be retired rather than sold. That way when we’re looking back in 20 years or so God willing, we’ll be able to enjoy that nostalgia. As for this heavy divorce, I wish both parties the very best and I hope they come to a peaceful resolution although it will not be amicable because of the messiness.
Tell me in the comments below what you think of this whole incident. What do you think will happen to the jingle in the end? Are you sad to see Cellino and Barnes, the firm, go? Let it all out. If you liked reading this article, give it a star or a thumbs up and be sure to share it with one friend. Like the Facebook page (theangrymarketerblog.wordpress.com) and tell one friend to do so too. Thanks for reading and I hope you have a productive day!
Until the next article!
Staff, S. N. (2017, May 11). Cellino and Barnes to Split? One Partner Files Suit to Dissolve Firm. Retrieved May 27, 2017, from http://www.twcnews.com/nys/buffalo/top-stories/2017/05/10/cellino-and-barnes-to-dissolve–documents-show-lawsuit-filed-to-dissolve-law-firm.html
Boyle, L. (2017, May 18). EXCLUSIVE: Shouting matches, office hook-ups, nepotism and bad karma: Why America’s top injury attorneys Cellino & Barnes – known for their iconic jingle – are in the throes of a messy split. Retrieved May 27, 2017, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4508862/Nepotism-bad-blood-caused-Cellino-Barnes-split.html
Accident Attorney New York | Personal Injury Lawyer. (n.d.). Retrieved May 27, 2017, from http://www.cellinoandbarnes.com/
What Does Dissolving a Company Mean? (n.d.). Retrieved May 27, 2017, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/dissolving-company-mean-26223.html
Stanley, T. (2016, August 29). What Killed the Jingle? Retrieved May 27, 2017, from https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/08/what-killed-the-jingle/497291/