Marketing tip: Avoid backlash by not plagiarizing popular internet toons.

Jamba Juice has a new flash intro Cubicle Picnic which appropriates the same clip art (and much of the tone) as ever popular satire web comic Get your war on. I first saw the comic not long after 9/11, when paranoia, confusion, frustration and sadness was rampant and I used the black satire as a way to handle all the stuff that was going on at the time, so I couldn't ever imagine using that toon to sell anything... Except perhaps anti-anxiety medication.

I've posted about it here - Jamba Juice searches for inspiration, decides to copy Get Your War on comic instead, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. GYWO has many many fans all around the internet, thus posts about this flash ad have been made on livejournal, blogs, twitter and of course on home of GYWO itself where all the readers are writing in reports on anti-Jamba Juice-post spottings and generally badmouthing the brand.

I doubt this will make it to court, these cases are notoriously hard to win, and blatant idea rips (or homages, depending on how you look at it) have walked away scot free before. Choice quote from article;
"We were told it was a win-win situation for advertisers if you sue because it brings attention to them and their product," Linehan explains. "And theirs was so badly done and unfunny we thought it wouldn't be remembered.
There has been cases of wins though, Ninja Kittens band won court battle, by settling out of court, and the copyright infringement case in the Nike stick figure campaign years ago which copied a Chinese artists style was lost by Nike.

But losing in court, or winning in court, is not the same as in the court of public opinion. Just ask O.J.

Berocca treadmills clearly pays homage to "Ok Go!".

1 comment:

RFB said...

So weak. What possesses someone to take this route? Can you be so dumb as to think GYWO is not a universally recognized (and loved) toon?

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