Toledo Blade – Misny Makes Them Pay

“I have been there so many times before and NOW I will be there for YOU and your family.”
- Tim Misny - The man that “Makes Them Pay!®”

“Please understand that the slogan, I’ll Make Them Pay!® is not a guarantee of payment. Both liability and real damages must be proven with preponderance of the evidence.” – Tim Misny

Toledo Blade – Misny Makes Them Pay

Published on the Toledo Blade, July 24, 2021

From the cocked eyebrow to the pointed finger, Ohioans know, “Misny makes them pay.”

Tim Misny, the Cleveland-based personal injury lawyer behind the statewide brand, has been practicing law for nearly 40 years, but in the two years since his firm began plastering billboards bearing his face and motto in more than 200 locations across Ohio, his practice has never been better.

“Phe-no-me-nal. Phenomenal,” Mr. Misny said of the incoming-call volume that has broken his law firm’s records week after week. While unable to put an exact number to the firm’s increase in clients, he described the influx as a “steroid shot.”

The “Misny Makes Them Pay” billboards have become the subject of internet memes, road-trip games, and at least one Halloween costume.

“I think people appreciate that there’s a guy out there who levels the playing field for them, because if there weren’t lawyers like me out there to hold medical institutions and businesses accountable, people would have no chance of justice,” he said.

It’s likely a high bar to expect from every campaign the sort of reaction Mr. Misny has gotten, but local business owners and others said the billboard remains a reliable source of exposure, even if it is difficult to say exactly how successful they are.   

David Langendorfer, Jr., a local owner and franchisee of a number of local businesses including Mr. Storage, Little Caesars, and Jersey Mike’s, has been using outdoor billboard campaigns for the past 15 years and currently manages six different brands. Outdoor campaigns make up the majority of his advertising strategy.

“In the last 10 months we have begun using billboards for hiring ads,” Mr. Langendorfer said.

A “Now Hiring” billboard ad active for one month was equal to 11 days on Indeed.com, he said, adding that, in his experience, billboards reach more people and bring in more hires.

Jason White said customers often mention his billboards when they walk through his doors. Like Mr. Misny, Mr. White designs his own ads and uses a photo of his face alongside a slogan that resonates with his target audience: “Is bad credit blocking your goals?”

Mr. White is the founder and chief executive officer of Witness Riches, a credit-repair service based in Toledo. The company focuses much of its advertising efforts on digital and social media advertising, but billboards are reliably part of its budget.

“I have over 100,000 follows collectively on social media. And when people see me on social media, then they see the billboard, it complements what we’re doing because they see it as, ‘This must be real now.’ It’s more of a branding technique for me, and if we get a client that way, it helps,” Mr. White said.

Billboards’ down side is the difficulty tracking who’s seeing an ad and how successful it is at spinning glances into dollars, Mr. White said. Digital ads track clicks and offer businesses more data to draw from.

The Out of Home Advertising Association of America reported that in 2019, outdoor media, including billboards of all shapes and sizes, made up roughly 4 percent of the advertising market. Digital advertising made up more than half of the market in that year, garnering $128.4 billion in revenue.

In first quarter of 2021, out-of-home advertising was down by 31 percent, the trade association reported. In that category, billboards performed the strongest, with a decline of 13 percent.

Still, Mickey Frame, a local chiropractor, said a three-month billboard campaign five years ago that advertised his role as the chiropractor for the Toledo Walleye left his practice unable to keep up with incoming demand. It was his only advertising at the time, and since then he’s stayed away. 

“I went from average 30 patients a month to probably 60. I probably could have had more, but there was only so much I could do,” Mr. Frame said. 

A Nielsen survey last year of 453 U.S. residents found that 62 percent of consumers noticed digital billboards, half of digital-billboard viewers noticed them “all” or “most” of the time, and 65 percent of viewers engaged in actions after seeing a digital billboard ad — such as searching for an advertiser or visiting its website.

Greg Churilla, vice president and general manager of Lamar Advertising, which handles Mr. Misny’s and many other Toledo-area billboards, said what makes billboards an effective advertising tool has remained the same for years. 

“It’s putting your name out in front of the public in masses. We’re one of the only mediums anymore that’s not fragmented and can reach the masses. In many cases, outdoor reaches more people than other mediums,” Mr. Churilla said. 

Other billboard companies in the Toledo area include TDO Advertising (Toledo/​Detroit Outdoor Advertising) and Tolson Digital Media.

Outdoor advertising has always been about creative and simple messaging. But as the need for phone or website detail has waned, ads can fit even more cleanly into the industry’s rule of thumb: 7 to 10 words, Mr. Churilla said. Generally his agency recommends pictures, color, and quick catchy slogans.

Mr. Misny said he wanted his billboard to look as clean as possible.

“If it’s not clear and concise, I think your brain just shuts off. It’s too much to absorb in two or three seconds,” Mr. Misny, adding that there’s another reason there’re no phone number or web address on his billboard.

“I want people to be vested. I want people to say, ‘Hey, I want to find out about this guy.’ And they have to make an effort,” he said.

Today looking up an item on a smart phone is quicker than remembering a number and later punching it in, or even typing in a memorized web address. All it takes to find Mr. Misny is a Google search.

The lawyer said people have stopped him on the street to joke that they’ve tossed out his slogan at their weekly poker games. When he recently visited his high school alma mater for a basketball game, he was met with chants of “Make them pay.” 

“It really connects with people on a primal level,” Mr. Misny said. “When somebody is laying in a hospital as the result of an accident … or they need their car fixed, they need their medical bills paid, they need their lost wages reimbursed, they need money for future medical treatment and the insurance company is dancing around and being noncommittal, they want somebody who what? Makes them pay.”

Behind the billboard, Mr. Misny has an endless supply of client stories and quippy anecdotes for every turn in conversation. He cracks jokes and is known to say Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stole the famous raised brow from him, not the other way around.

In conversation, Mr. Misny often mentions his wife, Stephanie, and three kids, Max, Ruby, and Gus. Their pictures fill his Facebook wall and if asked about his day, the personal-injury lawyer will answer that he sets his internal barometer to a single item: if his family is healthy and happy — which they are, he noted.

It’s a softer persona than the ferocity of his firm’s message, a vow to their clients that no matter what, there is a team fighting for what is owed to victims of car accidents, medical malpractice, birth injuries, and more.

He got the idea for “Make Them Pay” from a client who, years ago, was severely injured during a routine tonsillectomy: a doctor severed a boy’s artery and the resulting bleeding caused severe, permanent brain damage. After meeting with the family at the boy’s hospital bed, Mr. Misny was approached by the child’s grandmother.

“She was about 4-foot-11, maybe 89 pounds, and she walked up to me. I’m 6’-5” and she took her index finger and she pointed and poked me in the chest and she said, ‘Now you go make them pay.’ And I did,” Mr. Misny said.

First Published July 24, 2021, 1:49pm 

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The Law Offices of Tim Misny
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Jennifer Harper
Jennifer Harper
23:11 17 Jun 21
“I’ll make them pay” ya right wouldn’t even take the case because he’s afraid.
Brandon Hagerdon
Brandon Hagerdon
20:53 18 May 21
I met Tim 6 years ago when he was working with my mother. Since then we were able to stay in touch and build a... relationship. I reached out to Tim recently about an opportunity and he was able to connect the dots and help me with this. During this process he gave me his direct number to contact him if need be. If you are in need of any sort of help, I would recommend Tim every time.read more
Jimmie Graham
Jimmie Graham
19:26 30 Mar 21
Tim is hands down the best lawyer in town. He was able to guide me through the legal process and keep me informed at... all stages. Which allowed me to not stress and focus on life. He was able to get me the best deal possible in my court case. One thing that blew me away is that he gave me his direct cell number and answered anytime I had a question which is rare with most lawyers. 100% Misny is the guy! There's a reason he's on literally every billboard in Cleveland.read more
marti gwin
marti gwin
03:38 17 Feb 21
I met him 30 years ago with my husband Jim. Tim approached me as a Christian man who had nothing but good intentions... and a good heart. After becoming close with him he took us to Denny’s for a nice lunch and offered to pay for us even. Come to find out Tim was not who we thought he was, he only let me and my husband order off of the two dollar menu and would not allow me to get a grand slam because he said that I was too obese to get a grand slam.read more
Paul McFadden
Paul McFadden
13:29 20 Jan 21
My relationship with Tim goes back over 30 years and is one of great trust and mutual respect. Tim represented me at a... critical point in my life and I will always be indebted to him for the difference he made. He is always just a phone call away.read more
Rick Miller
Rick Miller
18:55 21 Dec 20
If I could reach into the sky just to pull more than 5 stars down for a rating I would! I have used other lawyers in... the past and it was such a pain to reach them when I needed them. Tim is in all honesty there for you. He gave me his personal phone number, and at anytime or any day he answered. If I had to leave a message I could count to 10 and he would already be calling me back. He also was willing to talk on the weekends! He didn’t just forward me to an impersonal automated system or a person with no experience. I will NEVER use another person for legal advice. He’s gracious enough to give me guidance whenever I have a question. No matter how complex. This may sound like an advertisement but I assure you this man was more in touch when I had an issue than my own family. A reasonable and caring family man who will MAKE THEM PAY!Thank you Timread more
PJ Camargo/Authentik Movement Training
PJ Camargo/Authentik Movement Training
01:51 22 Oct 20
I've had the pleasure of getting to know Tim personally over the past 2 years. Beyond him being an incredible lawyer &... 'Jack of all trades ' he is an amazing friend. One thing I love most is that he is family oriented & always making quality time for his loved ones. He inspires me to be a great role model &father figure one day. Tim loves nature & shares the true beauty of nature with how he raises his kids. From biking through trails & having his kids learn how to nurture the family garden - he teaches valuable lessons on how to appreciate the world we live in. I know that Tim is just a phone call away & always urgent to responding no matter the situation. He has given me some of the greatest advice & continously throwing positive energy my way! I'm honored to know him & be a friend of his. He is the true practioneer of changing lives & paying it forward. He has taught me so much in just a short amount of time. Tim Misny, a man that wakes up every single day to make a difference!read more
Scott Plate
Scott Plate
16:49 10 Oct 20
Tim has created a highly visible and effective law practice, and despite his decades of experience, he has never once... forgotten why he got into this business in the first place: to help people. He puts his whole heart into his work, and he works hard for everyone he represents. He has a gift for tuning out the noise and tuning into the core of what his clients need, and making it clear he has heard them. As a result, we feel empowered. He is smart, resourceful, creative, positive, and solution-oriented. His abundant energy makes people feel better, stronger, and valued. He loves and promotes his community; he gives back generously, and he always leaves everything better than he found it. Tim is a true man of action, and a man of his word. Could not recommend him more highly.read more
Mike M
Mike M
04:44 09 Oct 20
As a young man, I worked at a local garden center. I came from a family that had too many problems to list. I felt I... was never destined to be anything good. I had always wanted to be a police officer since I was a little boy. But, one side of my family told me that I would never be good enough to do it. Anytime I brought it up, they knocked me down until I started to believe that I could never accomplish my dream. One day, about 20 years ago, while working at that garden center, a very tall man came in and asked me to help him select plants. As we walked around the garden center, he struck up a conversation with me. He was very friendly and kind. I was a skinny teenager in dirty blue jeans and a t shirt. This man was dressed very nicely and I was surprised at how nice he was to me. During our conversation, he asked me what I wanted to do with my life after school. I told him that I wanted to be a police officer but many people told me that I’d never make it. I told him how my very own father said I wasn’t smart enough, brave enough, and I was wasting my time. I remember looking at the ground while I explained this to him. The man stopped and got serious. His voice dropped an octave and he looked me dead in the eyes. He pointed his finger at me and told me that I could make anything of my life that I wanted. He told me that it was up to ME to make my life goals come true. He told me to ignore anybody who tells me otherwise. He assured me that if I studied hard in school and never gave up on my dreams that they would become a reality. He told me to say it. I said “I can do it”. In that moment, I thought that if a complete stranger saw something in me, than maybe it could be true.After I helped him through the checkout and he left, many different employees at the garden center asked me if I knew who that man was. I did not. They told me, “That’s Tim Misny!” Once I figured out “who” Tim Misny was, my confidence grew. It was a pivotal moment. One in which steered the rest of my life. His words stuck with me. I worked hard and obtained my Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice. I was hired by a local Law Enforcement Agency at the age of 21. I was sent to the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy, which was an extremely tough place to be, to say the least. At the Academy, they try to break those who don’t have a determined spirit. On days I wanted to quit, I remembered Tim’s words. Maybe it was fate, maybe it was random chance.... I’ll never know But, Tim Misny helped me have the confidence and determination that was necessary to be where I’m at today. I’ve been a law enforcement officer for over 16 years. I’ve told this story to many of my coworkers.Tim, you’ll never understand how your words that spring day helped shape my future. Your words enabled me to provide a great life for myself and my family. I’m forever grateful.Mikeread more
Eric Evans
Eric Evans
21:02 04 Oct 20
Tim has represented me twice, once 30 years ago and again just recently. I was too young to fully appreciate his... expertise when he represented me the first time (as i was a minor who was the victim of an accident - he won for us, incidentally), but I'm old enough and wise enough now to really appreciate how truly great he is. First off, how many attorney's actually give you their cell phone number and actually answer? I would contend very, very few. Secondly, he has a street fighter mentality combined with a sharp legal intellect which makes you immediately think "I'm so glad this guy is on my side." I was really in a bind recently and Tim came through in spades - he is THE person I would call if I were in trouble or needed help - at a minimum he would know who I should talk to and direct me there (he knows his own limits, which is the key to a wise person) - at a maximum he would take on my fight himself and I'd have full confidence in his ability to deliver the best possible outcome for me - he fights for you like you're family - can't say it better than that.read more
Benjamin Firstenberg
Benjamin Firstenberg
19:32 28 Sep 20
I worked as an intern for Tim the summer of 2017 and it was an unbelievable experience both for my career and personal... development. He treats his employees with a level of respect, appreciation and honesty that I've truly not seen anywhere else that I've worked. We've stayed in touch these past few years and I'm still learning from Tim, whether it be the way he sees the world, his career advice or his commitment to his family. He's an honest man who treats people honorably.read more
David Shelton
David Shelton
01:13 30 Jun 20
I don't know much about Tim the lawyer, but I do know about Tim the man. Tim the man befriended me as a youth and gave... me the motivation to excel in school. Tim the man wrote the letter that got me into college and got me a helpful scholarship. Tim the man gave me an internship while in college. Tim the man has been a friend to me for over ten years. He makes himself available day or night whether I need advice or just want to talk about the day. There a lot of stigmas about attorneys (and they are earned) but Tim Misny bucks the stereotype. And if Tim the lawyer is half a good as Tim the man, he will live up to his word, and make them pay.read more
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The Law Offices of Tim Misny

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