Cut, Copy, Steal. But never lie.

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Recently I was involved in a campaign that we blatantly stole from another very successful campaign. At least that is what some people say. Me, I would call it a remix. We mashed up a very successful idea with a different set of ingredients, contexts and spices and relaunched it with very open references to the original, and the campaign took off like mad crazy! Every major newspaper and most minor ones covered the story. The amount of exposure was just phenomenal, with little to no advertising budget. Here are just some examples:

And here comes the interesting part – If this had been an original idea (assuming the existence of such a thing) it wouldn’t have come close to the exposure we now received.

There is a lesson here: By being honest and open we both benefited. We got massive exposure for our client because of all the references to the original campaign, and the original campaign looks even more remarkable when more people copy it. It becomes a classic.

This is the ReTweet of advertising. A mash up. A remix. Call it what you want. It worked. Beyond all expectations.

If we hadn’t been open about it on the other hand, it wouldn’t have been cool. It would have been a carbon copy without the reference, and this is actually exactly what is happening in a lot of trad-ads. Cut, copy, steal, but never lie.

About the Blog

This blog is written by Walter Naeslund and has been around since 2007. The blog is about the journey of starting an advertising agency and a sneak peek behind the scenes of what goes on at the Honesty HQ in SoFo, Södermalm. It is also a blog about communication & technology. The blog has gathered almost a thousand posts over the years with several longer and shorter breaks. Welcome and enjoy.
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