Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

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Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

Advertising Secrets: Is the BBC Olympic Ad Campaign Plagiarism?

My recent  BBC interview and the Daily Mails discussion on the similarity between the BBCs Olympic TV advert and Lloyds TSB "Take the Journey" TV campaign seems to have raised many questions.


It has been suggested that the similarity between the BBC Olympic ad and the Lloyds TSB TV ad is actually a case of plagiarism.  


Well you need to form your own opinion on that.  There are two versions of the ad; the first is about 40 seconds long whilst the second is over 2.5 minutes long.  In both ads animation is used and there is certainly a similarity between the two in terms of style.  Both display a rather pinchfaced style of character and the longer BBC ad contains a train reminiscent of the TSB ad.


As both the BBC and TSB ads come from the same agency we should, perhaps, expect some stylistic similarity.  As advertisers we need to be aware of this and ensure similarities don't creep in .. unless we plan for that outcome.


There is a bigger charge I hear being made against the BBC.  I've been asked how the BBC justify an expensive advertising agency produced advert when the BBC doesn't carry advertising.


The use of "trails" as opposed to adverts is something the BBC has practiced for years so we should not be surprised they are doing that now.  However with the licence fee fixed into the future, and the BBC having limited income, this could be construed as a poor use of licence fee payers money.


It isn't as if we aren't aware of the Olympics!  So why the expensive trail.  It has been argued by some that it is reminiscent of the flagrant use of multiple presnters being sent to cover oversears events. 


Others point at the coverage of recent events like the Jubilee that have been questioned in terms of poor coverage; where cut aways to irrelevent content and celeb opinion has been criticised.


If these programmes were webpages they would not win many marks for relevance and concise content.


Can you learn anything about business marketing and advertising from the BBC Olympic ads?  If you reflect on them I'm sure you can.  I have.

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