Friday, July 2, 2010

No such thing as an original idea?

In the last 2 days 2 promotional ideas have been brought to my attention and BOTH of them have been done before. This leads me to ask the question:

Is there no such thing as an original idea anymore?

Example one. TVNZ promotion of Vampire Diaries:
These 2 images are c/- @peteinak & @dylanp these 'blood' coolers were in Starcom and I'm guessing Vodafone (Hmm - what a surprise, TVNZ going directly to a client!)

So, these are a blatant ripoff of True Blood:
Thanks to @harfish for this image.

What gets me about this TVNZ promotion is that the water cooler idea works for True Blood - there is a blood product in the series which the Vampires drink. Doesn't have quite the same synergy with Vampire Diaries.

Couple this with the (in my opinion) inappropriate online advertising, I think this has all been a bit of a flop.

Example two. Good Health Magazine promotion:

Blatant rip off of... VW Piano Stairs

So, is there such a thing as an original idea anymore? Or, considering the Old Spice ads, should we all just pack up and go home - cos there's no beating that.

Swan Dive!


Anonymous said...

I'm glad someone else noticed the piano stairs rip off... I felt so alone!

iChild said...

So, apparently the Good Health/VW Stairs thing was covered by Mr. Simon Pound on Wammo's show and possibly The Ad Show as well - sorry, I didn't catch either.

I picked up the Good Health video this morning when someone tweeted that they wished they were a part of it.

Peter Thomson said...

Fair spotting. But your slight tone of disapproval misses the point of advertising. The ultimate judge of a campaign isn't "Is it creative?" instead it's "Is it effective?"

There are rules about copyright and fair trading to keep people from going to far. Why ask a client to be original at the risk of effectiveness?

That said, the two examples are probably blatant enough to be wrong even if they were effective. I guess I'm just keen to see advertisers focus on originality as a means to an end, not the end in itself.

iChild said...

Thanks for your comment Peter.

The 2 examples are actually very different campaigns to consider in regards to ripping off others creative ideas.

I actually think the piano stairs are a really good fit for Good Magazine, it's just that someone else thought it up and executed it first. I understand utilising this idea and Car Company/Magazine - 2 products which are worlds apart.

The Vampire Diaries thing really annoys me because this execution is not a good fit with the programme and it had been done for an identical product. TV show/TV show.

It would be like the CW doing an outdoor campaign in the US for Vampire Diaries with removable stakes (see True Blood and Blood Service post in May). I'm pretty sure FCB would have a few things to say about that, as would HBO.

Just because the majority of the public do not know you're ripping off an idea, doesn't make it OK. At least Good Magazine have now credited the idea on the You Tube blurb.