Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Too close?

This ad appeared on my Google Reader this morning. It made me wonder whether our friends at Martin would feel it falls under:

A. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery
B. Lifting a concept
C. Who cares?


  1. google has probably probably tested 20 different ads, at least... and based on the profile they've built on you (via web history, youtube, gmail, etc), this ad probably made you click on it.

    i'd like to add one more option:
    D. if it works, perhaps they're doing something right.

  2. I hear what you're saying and thanks for the comment. But, I'm talking about creative integrity here, not click thru or conversion rates.

    And if we use "well, it works doesn't it" thinking as our creative compass, we're in trouble. "So bad it's good" is for Corey Haim, Police Academy and Sinbad movies, not brand building. :)

  3. I agree with you about creative integrity. Nothing worse than seeing good creative work get ripped off.

    However, I don't believe using Google as a specific example of plagerism or bad brand building practice is an effective exercise.

    As you pointed, the purpose of that ad was to get you to click on it. To Google, they're only interested in matching your profile with keywords/history and increasing CPV and CPI. They have a different perspective of the world than you and me.

    Though this ad is a terrible creative gimmic, it will not affect their brand valuation.

  4. Most definitely this little ad will not affect their brand valuation. I don't think anyone's that nieve. I can only imagine what could be big enough to detrail this monster (a good monster).

    At least we can agree it's "a terrible creative gimmic". In fact, it's haunting me now – appearing on every freakin page of my reader.
    Ghosts in the machine.

    Thanks for your thinking and point of view.