This is an interesting little story as to WHY do people copy and that “Telepathy” is a copy-cat’s lame excuse. the following two ads are NOT for the same client and not executed by the same designer although they were both produced and published in the same country, Kuwait.
This very small 5 cm x 2 Col. (H: 5 cm. W: 8.5 cm) classified ad is not esthetically creative yet it got copied. Why? Because it was effective. it effectiveness was du to the high frequency of placing this exact same ad day after day after day for the past nine years, the high frequency of publishing the ad created familiarity with the target audience, familiarity breaded trust. acquiring good will, recognition and wining the trust of the landlords looking to rent their property. The time line for building this trust was a quarter of a century in the Kuwaiti market by the expat managed real estate company (registered in Kuwait as Eastern Homes by its owner Ray Alamango).
A competitor (we don t know if they are even registered or licensed) decided to take a short cut. why wait a quarter of a century and spend a huge sum of money to built the frequency, etc. etc. when you can copy someone else’s ad to mislead the public and profit from doing so.
he could have placed a bigger ad or changed the headline or the body copy or the border; but not a chance he deliberately wanted a 100% perfect copy to pull it off and ended up with a 99.9% copy (the 1% is for changing the contact details).
the sad part of the story is that the copycat who lacked experience did not succeed in profiting from his mischievous endeavor; succeeded in damaging our client credibility and now Eastern Homes has to invest another quarter of a century and a couple of hundreds of thousands of Kuwaiti Dinars to recover the damage caused by the unethical actions of copycats.
This example can be applied in a bigger frame to picture the devastating effects on the advertising industry by tolerating or practicing copycat/spoof/scam advertising
Client: Eastern Homes Real Estate
Agency: Paragon Marketing Communications