Thursday, June 15, 2006

Possibly The World's Most Unoriginal Topic - Originality

There's a beautiful ad for Ariston washing machines over at AdBlather. But on Brandon Barr points out its close similarity to a campaign for Ecover washing detergent.

Today's Campaign magazine carries a letter pointing out the similarity of the new NSPCC ad to one for T-Mobile, an article describing similarities between a Daily Telegraph and an Observer Sport Monthly campaign, and a whole slew of opinions on that hoary old topic of plagiarism.

For what it's worth, here's mine.

The commandment says "thou shalt not steal" not "thou shalt not steal an idea", so as far as I'm concerned, there's no moral law against it.

But our task is to sell. And if an idea doesn't feel original, it won't be as impactful.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

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copyranter said...

I'm stealing this post idea.

SchizoFishNChimps said...

There's much navel-gazing about originality, but I'd say the consumer wants (as opposed to needs) entertaining. Hence Cog was popular, although it wasn't original. The Sony Bravia Bouncing Balls idea is original and entertaining, although when I asked my non-advertising friends about it they all thought the ad was for Hewlett-Packard.

Scamp said...

I totally agree with you, my chimpanzee friend.

The consumer only wants entertaining.

Hence the importance of originality - something that feels original to the consumer is more entertaining than something they feel they've seen before.

So rippping off an obscure Swiss short film is fine, because the consumer won't have seen it.

Ripping off another ad that's been on TV, or a TV programme, is not so good because it means your ad won't feel fresh therefore won't be as entertaining.

Your second point is about branding... i guess we'll have to leave that for another post...