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Checkers/99c Rips off international brand


Checkers – Don’t change your lifestyle, change your supermarket commercial

We know there’s a TV commercial out there as well, but we haven’t been able to get hold of it.

We’ve been given a heads up by Mike Stopforth about another local rip-off advertisement. The new Checkers campaign uses the tagline: “Don’t change your lifestyle, change your supermarket.” We feel this is actually a pretty good tagline, with one small problem… It’s not an original idea. A UK retail chain called Aldi used this exact same tagline in a campaign last year. The agency responsible for the Checkers campaign is Ninety9Cents.

It seems to be a growing concern when local agencies take existing concepts and import them to a South African market. The other most recent one we can think of was Ooba, a rebranding of Mortgage SA with nearly everything an exact copy of the British brand. We’re not going to discuss the originality or origin or whatever of the ooba or Checkers campaign, what I want to know is, in a hyper connected world, where unoriginal ideas are quickly exposed and the source is quickly traced, why would an agency still decide to go through with the campaign? Never mind pitch it!

While I think these campaigns don’t really have an impact on the brand (consumers won’t really care if it’s original or not), it does show a certain lack of originality on the part of the agency and the industry is certain to pick that up. The question to ask, I suppose is, does this impact the agency in any way? Would you, as a brand, use an agency that you know has copied previous campaigns?

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