Beauty… and creativity lie in the eyes of the beholder. Brands are always at the forefront of creativity and exciting marketing. Most times, the aim of this is to create awareness for their product and elicit some sort of emotion from the audience.
It can be easy or difficult to be original in today’s world of a dime a dozen creative ideas and PR stunts. The ease or difficulty of coming up with a creative idea is usually up to the brand’s agency or marketing team. Till date, there are exciting ads you have seen that you still remember, years after you saw them last. They are ingrained in your subconscious because of how striking and creative they are.
What then happens when two very popular brands create ‘almost’ the exact same type of ad, where you’ve seen one and it’s almost like you’ve seen the other.
Very recently, a popular Nigerian beer brand dropped a video ad which everyone applauded. A few minutes later, someone replied to the video with an exact same video done last year by a clothing brand. I was beyond shocked!
This isn’t limited to ads. From music to web design to painting to writing and all other forms of arts, there are copies and similarities. Musicians sample other artists songs when creating theirs, painters take elements of a predecessor’s art to create something entirely new.
Other people’s creativity can inspire us and that’s okay. If we are inspired by other people, where do we draw a line between inspiration and copying? If your art is copied, do you take it as a compliment or get pissed off because someone else is using your idea and passing it off as theirs and/or possibly profiting from it?
Where does copying or imitating someone’s art become unethical? Is it okay if you copy blatantly and give credit? We learn and grow by copying and doing what others are doing, especially in childhood. Copying isn’t wrong. What’s wrong is passing off someone’s work without giving credit or passing it off as your own. It’s okay to be inspired by something. Use what inspired you to create something different. Your ‘something different’ could inspire someone else.