Thursday, June 12, 2008

Un-official marketing material

Spoof adverts and other manipulated marketing material have exisited for ages. Most of these are not done by advertising companies, although some have been and gain notoriety as result. As an example, see the supposedly web-only 'banned from TV' Ford Ka advert below.

But if your customers are going to create their own adverts, they might as well do them well! Website B3ta ( is well know for featuring manipulated images of popular brands or people. Some imagery is even so professionally manipulated or mocked-up these days, that its not possible to tell ifs actually be produced to highlight a product or to show-off the skills of the photographer/photoshop user.

So, what impact does this have on your brand and what can you do about it? Well most of these images are ignored by the people or companies they parody. This is quite possibly because the media attention caused from legal disputes causes far more unwanted attention for the insulted party. However there are notable examples where legal seps have been taken, an obvious one being the action by lawyers of pop star Prince against B3ta.

Indeed images circulated back in 2003 of a Puma advert whose subject was less than wholesome . It was subsequently denied to have come from the sportswear company and it then went on to send out a "cease and desist" letter to various bloggers threatening legal action against anyone posting the "defamatory image." A blogswarm followed, with one website ( claiming:
"It's the best ad that's been done for your company in years, and you didn't design it. Thousands of people are circulating images emblazoned with your brand and you didn't even pay for product placement."

I'll leave you to decide who came off best from these incidents......

Further stories of people who have won and lost imagery & video can be found on:
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