Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What's the big idea?

You know World Cup fever has peaked when even your admin staff starts sending you links to football ads. On this particular occasion, the really interesting part played out in the commenting section - not in the ad.

You can view it here.

I think most football fans would agree the ad is amusing but there were a lot of negative comments about the idea not being original enough - "done, done, done" were some of the repeated comments left by users. Some went to as much detail as to name other campaigns by brands which were similar (i.e. Burger King).

The ad was made by an advertising school so its not good if their students are stealing ideas.

And just as I was starting to feel a little judgmental myself, a different comment caught my eye.

"So what if it's been done before? Everything has been done before. Does it fit the brand? Is it in context? Will consumers remember your message or that the message was sponsored by you? Those are what's important."

Slightly defensive but point made. We operate in an ideas business and the stealing of ideas (or magazine mastheads) is something we totally oppose but in terms of advertising, where do you draw the line between inspiration and copying?

If a marketer gets inspired by another person's work, adapts it and uses it in a way which creates effective results for their brand - should we judge the work based on the results or cast it aside as a copycat effort? It depends on the severity of the similarities between the work I suppose.

I've heard many brand marketers complain before about ad agencies who think they are in the business of creating art, not realising they are in the business of creating business for brands.

Maybe sometimes we are a little too quick to categorise new ads as copied.

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