Do great ads think alike?

Posted on 23/01/2012

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Recycling bin with a face on it.

I’m a big fan of recycling. If you can use something more than once or find it a new home, then it saves you and everyone else money (not to mention resources, the environment, etc. etc.). But should you recycle an advert?

Sprint’s agency clearly think so. Check out these two adverts – can you spot the difference?

Freeview have been running their channel advert (by Leo Burnett) for over 5 months in the UK, using stray balloons as a metaphor for how many TV channels they can give you. It seems Sprint have taken this idea and applied it to a new market (the USA) and a new medium (mobile apps). It completely lacks the personality, and turns the apps into giant blimps hovering over New York.

Recycling advertising should be good for the planet. It might mean fewer international film shoots, lower electricity usage at the edit suite and less coffee consumed by the crew and creatives. But in reality all of this is still going to happen. One advert can never work for two brands.

Skimping on ideas is a false economy. Advertising (both the creative and the media placement) is about buying people’s consideration. The more familiar it is, the less likely it is to garner someone’s attention. Adverting also takes a major role is defining a brand.

Ideas might not have an expiry date but at least make sure they’re fresh.

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Posted in: Advertising