The advertising industry is very competitive, and thanks to television shows like Mad Men, it can be perceived as sexy and exciting to a lot of people. In addition, like any occupation that society looks at with celebrity status, there is a pressure to perform day in and day out. Advertising agencies work is their calling card, and one of the best assets of someone’s work is their originality.
This got me to thinking: where does this originality come from? I think for a lot of people today – myself included – it can be easy to go home after a hard day at work and turn our minds off as we browse the internet, catch up on Netflix or take a power nap. But what happens when we turn to the internet and its ever expanding volume of cat videos for inspiration, as opposed to putting the work in for an original idea?
Take for example the Old Spice man with his off the wall script and style. Previous to the commercial that featured Isaiah Mustafa dolling out witty lines, Old Spice was seen as an old and relatively tired brand. Its growth was relatively slow, if not declining, and there was no new interest coming from that all-important 18-35 target market. However, the commercials helped refresh an old tired brand in Old Spice, which paid huge dividends both in brand equity and profits.
What happened next? Once a successful, fresh idea has been put out into the marketplace, it gets copied by the competitors as soon as possible. How many different Old-Spice-guy-type commercials did you start seeing on TV? Commercials that were serious yet bizarre? What about commercials that were filmed in one continuous shot? The truth is, some of these rip-off commercials aren’t all together bad, but they are certainly unoriginal.
Edge Shave Gel - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMJvHpcq52g
Johnny Walker - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhwJiVovkLk
Dairy Queen - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6gRw5rUriE&feature=kp
As a brand owner, you need to ask yourself about the ROI of ripping off a successful commercial. Does the potential short-term gain of added exposure and revenue make up for the fact that you are admitting your brand is not innovative, and chooses to follow instead of lead?
The next time you are thinking about a way to market your brand, make sure you think twice, considering the long-term implication of what you are trying to achieve. No one remembers these rip-off commercials in a positive light. Take the time to make your brand incredible, and that means being true to what makes your brand, your brand.
And as always, if you want to discuss some great ways to elevate your brand, give us a call.