A billboard for Do not call Saul along I-25 near downtown Albuquerque, photographed on Monday October 20, 2014. (Dean Hanson/Albuquerque Journal)
ALBUQUERQUE, NM (ABQ Journal)
By Jessica Dyer / Journal Staff Writer
It was not a disgruntled crew member from the network that produced “Breaking Bad.”
It was not an advertisement for “Breaking Bad’s” forthcoming spinoff, “Better Call Saul.”
It was not an Albuquerque resident angry about disruptions caused by either of those Albuquerque-set series.
Curious onlookers floated all those theories last week after a pair of mysterious billboards went up in Albuquerque bearing a simple, cryptic message: “Do not call Saul” – an obvious reference to the fictional Saul Goodman, a sleazy lawyer character featured in both TV shows.
So who is actually behind the admonition to not call Saul?
That would be Revo + Smith, an Albuquerque law firm that specializes in personal injury cases. Partners Terrence Revo and Roger Smith told the Journal in an interview Monday that they wanted to distance themselves from the “Sauls” of the world – shady legal practitioners whose unscrupulous tactics know no bounds, a stereotype they say often gets perpetuated by TV and movies.
But the campaign has had much more impact than either of them could fathom.
The billboards led to rampant online speculation, stories by local TV stations and a tweet from Peter Gould, co-creator of “Better Call Saul.” On Oct. 15, Gould tweeted a picture of the board and a message: “We didn’t do this – can anybody explain what this is about?”
Smith said the campaign – created and implemented with the help of James Korenchen Public Relations – has “exceeded our expectations wildly, both in terms of how quickly it caught on and how much attention it’s gotten.”
Both attorneys have kept mostly quiet about the billboards, though Revo said he told his young-adult children about it, who called it “way cool.”
The digital billboards first showed up along Interstate 25 near Mountain and near the San Mateo/Montgomery intersection, though the message will appear on several other signs around town for the rest of this month.
As of today, Korenchen said the boards will be edited to include the Revo + Smith logo and a phone number that takes callers to a message explaining the billboards.
Revo and Smith declined to divulge what they’ve spent on the campaign but said it’s the only real advertising they’ve done outside of their website.