Friday, October 22, 2010

Creative Coincidence, Plagiarism, Inspiration or Adaptation? Skoda - Is it Fab?

 Way back in 2002 an advertisement was done for BHIMA Jewellers in Trivandrum promoting solitaire diamonds. BHIMA was a revered and traditional name in Trivandrum and was patronized  for generations by some of the older and established families. The ad is attached below:

The Headline says : Shout with a whisper and the body copy says "They say old money whispers, while new money shouts. Make your point with our solitaires collection. Bhima, for those who know better."
his was blogged and uploaded into my portfolio in .
Going by web analytic data, the blog has been viewed by almost 9700 people. It was also uploaded on the afaqs creative showcase almost a year ago and has been viewed by more than 195 people.

 I was therefore shocked to see an ad last week for Skoda Fabia done by Saints and Warriors titled "Style shouts, pedigree whispers' which seems to be quite similar in intent and approach to the  ad that I had done in 2002 for Bhima Jewellers. It then  talks about lineage in the body copy.  The advertisement that appeared in the Economic Times of 15th October 2010 for the brand Skoda Fabia. This  has the key number of Saints and Warriors (SAW/SKODA956-10).

While I do admit that creative coincidences are unavoidable and  this one seems to be "inspired" and almost "imitated",there is possibly a second opinion also,  that even if inspired, it is an adaptation and therefore acceptable. I frankly don't know. I guess the jury is out on this one.

Anyway,  as far as aggrieved  parties go, I don't seem to be in a club of one. A writer overseas also is in this august group and in her case, the accused is the editor of one of the most respected weeklies in India :)

Some interesting comments have started comming in. This link is dedicated to plagiarism or copy cat advertising:)


Post this blog and social media posts, Saints and Warriors have changed the Skoda advertising. We salute the gesture and are grateful to Pushpinder Singh for making the effort and doing the right thing.
creative-coincidence-or-plagiarism Skoda Fabia Revised ad


shiv said...

A lot depends on whether the original phrase comes from a saying, or idiom, that was re-crafted. If not, it is a clear case of a good piece of copy remaining in someone's head - ergo, plagiarism, perhaps subconscious as well. Ah, well, imitation is the best form of flattery!

Jesse Lee said...

If it was for a product that is in no way affiliated with the "muse Product" then I see no harm. They just borrowed an effective tag line and re-purposed it for their very different product. I say,"Inspired".