Recycling: Now for Advertising!

There are a multitude of perks inherent to recycling: reducing carbon footprint, minimizing landfill acreage, extending the lifespan of our nonrenewable resources, and–in the case of invention–a serious lift of creative burden.

The latter is why the replication of past ideas is both loved and loathed in schools everywhere. Students–often bemoaning their workload–are quick to reuse information; teachers stoutly deny its viability in the classroom. Indeed, plagiarism is considered one of the most egregious crimes a student can commit.

Maybe, then, it’s the student in me that cringes every time I see a blatant case of advertising plagiarism. The Verizon guy? He’s still doing the same schtick, but now he’s doing it under the Sprint logo. And he’s doing it frequently.

A serial advertising plagiarist.

Same thing with the Super Bowl. Tide spent an exorbitant amount of money on a slew of commercials this year. Were most of them clever? Sure. The “It’s a Tide Ad” iteration was my favorite spot of the night.

The problem? Tide’s near word-for-word recreation of an Old Spice commercial that went viral a few years ago. Did I love it the first time? You bet I did. But rehashing the same advertisement, down to the jingle? It just feels…lazy.

I was irked.

I’m sure that there will be people that loved the homage. That’s fine, more power to them. But, if you ask me, someone should have reported Tide to the Advertising Integrity Council.

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