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Davis ThinkingDavis Thinking } analysis and interpretation

Clearly Clear is a Creative Copycat

Friday, September 4, 2009

I noticed Clear has been stealing a page from its competitor Verizon with its creative - or lack thereof.  To tout its comprehensive coverage, it uses sprinkles as a metaphor.

Verizon, of course, uses sprinkles to convey a similar message for its friends and family and Verizon-to-Verizon service features:

Coincidence?  Creative copycat?  Or is there something more at play?  Imitation is the ultimate form of flattery.  And I tend to wonder if the newcomer, industry underdog is hoping to ride the coattails of its established competitor.

Moments after having this thought, I saw an LG commercial using colorful rubber balls bouncing from the television screen (I can’t find the video online, but keep an eye out for it).  And suddenly I had déjà vu:

Sure, each pair of commercials’ executions are fundamentally different.  After all, Clear uses cupcakes and Verizon is over-sprinkling ice cream - two separate dessert categories entirely.  And I promise you, LG’s bouncing rubber balls aren’t nearly as impressive as Sony’s.

However, the “big ideas” are essentially the same.  Have marketing budgets been sliced so deep that scavenging the brand equities of the big boys as a brand doppelgänger is an acceptable business strategy?  Or has Madison Avenue just run out of ideas?

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