Very few ad campaigns are completely original – and that’s completely alright.
Taking inspiration from different places and then building your own unique campaign is fine and even an accepted norm these days. However, the problem arises when the work created is similar, and if similarities could be made out.
But when the ad campaigns are a near copy – it is undoubtedly a a big blunder! And, that’s exactly what seems to have happened with one of the most well known Brand in the world – HP.
Here’s the story!
Around April 2014, Lenovo released a online ad campaign featuring a story of Varun Agarwal, Founder of Alma Mater, a company that sells personalized T-Shirts online. The social campaign by Lenovo featured his story in a video titles “Varun Agarwal’s Flexperience” and was showed using Lenovo flex laptop. Check out the original video released by Lenovo.
Fast forward to October, HP has been aggressively pushing their #Bendtherules ad campaign and have even roped in Deepika Padukone for the same reasons.
On October 27th, they released a new #BendTheRules video featuring, you guessed it, Varun Agarwal. Interestingly, the storyline is very very similar (except that Varun gives a different reason for starting the company). But if you see the video below, you will see the amount of similarity between the both.
Now here is a video created by a Youtube user “Concept Marketing” that shows side-by-side how similar both these videos are. It is entirely possible that Lenovo themselves may have created this video under false ID “concept marketing” because the account was created just 3-4 days back and has no other video except this.
Have a look.
How Did this happen?
For a company like HP, to create such a blunder is unpardonable.
However, in their defense, the entrepreneur, Varun Agarwal may not have actually disclosed that he did a similar Lenovo campaign earlier. On HP’s part, they might have not have done enough research on the person, which may have led to this gaffe.
Whatever the reason, HP should have definitely been more careful about who they are featuring in a video which has their branding.
The second possibility is obviously that HP got inspired by Lenovo’s campaign and tried to create their own thinking no one may find out about the same. And, if that’s the case, what HP did is seriously unpardonable.
Another point – In most cases, it is the agency that creates these campaigns, and not the company itself. So, it is entirely possible that agency copied the campaign. However, it is the HP brand name that is going to suffer more than anything because of this!
What is your take?
[Hat Tip: Amit Bhawani]