Thursday, May 16, 2024

Apple, Coca-Cola or when copying ads is reassuringly inexpensive.

Well, how about that? Apple has launched its ipad campaign and Coca-Cola launched its own "taste can't wait" for its Coke Zero. Turns out both ads have been done before. First look at Apple (here) and LG (here) - note that the LG dates back to 15 years, then look at Coca-Cola and Stella Artois (here).

For two major brands to send out copied ads is - to put it mildly - alarming. It is as if no one even bothered to do basic research, not only from the ad agencies, but also from these giants' marketing department. That no one has a memory of already-done ads (and ads which won major awards mind you - the Stella Artois was a gold winner at Cannes Lions 20 years ago) because everyone was too young is not an excuse. Today, all you have to do is type the descriptive of the ad on Google and bam, you have exactly what you were looking for, in addition to many many other resources online and offline.

Yet the question is, when two major brands basically - knowingly or unknowingly - copy two previous ads, can we still blame smaller agents who do the same? I was taken to court twice for exposing theft by certain agencies - the funny bit is that the courts did not argue if the agencies in question were stealing ads but rather if I was allowed to call them "thief". Just to be clear you cannot copyright an idea what you can copyright is the execution of the idea which both Apple and Coca-Cola have infringed upon, and by copyright it is simply the notion of "hey, I have seen this done before" as opposed to legally "copyrighting" the product.

So now what? Do we go the "everyone is doing it, so why can't we?" route? Or do do we tell both giants that they were in the wrong? The only silver lining is Samsung trolling Apple with "creativity cannot be crushed" (here).