BASED ON vs COPYING: SAFCOM & QANTAS AD DEBATE
I don’t consider myself an Ad Girl, yes I’ve worked for an agency or two but through and through I am a Graphic Designer; not entirely sure I want to get into that debate right now but the whole (the copier) Niko na Safaricom Ad vs (the copied) 1998 Qantas Ad has been on my mind the last few days (thanks to twitter comments and a post from BrandKemistry) but where I felt I had to comment is when I came across this tweet: @LarryMadowo “MJ tells me that Safaricom’s Niko Na ad IS BASED ON THE QANTAS AD & they didn’t copy. Same creative director.” Now if that isn’t a very very long round about way of saying WE COPIED then I don’t know what is.
It then begs the question: Does saying BASED give you leeway or the right to copy blatantly? Does this mean that one of the ways to get inspired to answer our clients’ briefs is through copying… sorry basing our whole idea from script to execution to to post production on someone else’ idea? If this is a truth then can we confidently be added into the syllabus of any Advertising 101 class is going on right now? The other question I have is: Does a CopyWriter or Art Director, who worked or come up with the idea/concept for a TVC or Ad campaign for one client, have the right to use the same idea/concept/campaign on another client just because it’s was their idea? I ask this only because it seems to be the case in this particular situation; when MJ says that the same Creative Director worked on both the Ads. Because if it’s so there is a bag of my old executed ideas that I can whip up for my future clients anytime! Whatever I do all I need to remember is to MAKE THE LOGO BIGGER!