When you’re onto a good thing… copy it, right? It worked for Vanilla Ice in Ice Ice Baby, using the bassline from Queen/David Bowie’s Under Pressure. It worked for the remake of Ocean’s Eleven. On the other hand, it didn’t work so well with the Karate Kid revival or Destiny’s Child’s cover of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ Under The Bridge.
Similarly, most would argue that it hasn’t worked for the AFL — the top league of Australian Rules Football for those outside this wonderful country downunder. The AFL’s most recent advertising campaign, which has done the rounds on a few Australian sites already this week, is a clear rip-off of the NBA’s same “I Love This Game” commercial campaign.
A little digging has not revealled to me who the advertising agencies involved in both campaigns were, but you would have to assume that they were affiliated, or all permissions were granted for the copy. The advertisement for the NBA on TNT (USA), released over a year ago, is almost identical to the spot for the AFL on Channel 7 (Australia) released this month.
Both advertisements use obstensibly the same tagline, both use remarkably similar graphics and both clearly use the same method of delivery through player testimonials and on-screen quotes. Incidentally, the AFL players do not do as good a job in their aurating as the NBA superstars do — deny that if you dare.
Take a look at both advertisements below and see for yourself. Was this a smart decision by Channel 7 and the AFL? Was it a good idea to use a tried format? Or have they simply made themselves look farcical through their direct duplication? What do American NBA fans think of this? Do you simply not care?