If the track on this new Weber Grill commercial sounds vaguely familiar, it is because it is a shameless and flagrant attempt to replicate the style, songwriting, and energy of the Black Eyed Peas without actually having to pay them. Think of it as sort of a store brand generic of the real thing. Horrible!!!! (For those of you scoring at home, the track is called “You Light Me Up,” by some band called “Open Sky”). What is Weber’s goal here- to dupe consumers? Save a few bucks by hiring a cheaper studio band? That’s pretty cynical, and it’s a pretty bad business practice. First, I doubt they are really fooling anyone. Second, we know the Black Eyed Peas are very commercially savvy, have put a lot into building their brand and reputation, and this has “copyright infringement lawsuit” written all over it. I would guess that their lawyers have sent a few nastygrams to Weber already.
As an aside, the whole “look at these fat people dancing, isn’t that funny” thing has also been done a million times, another sign that the Weber team was more intent on ripping off other people’s ideas than creating new ones. They make great grills though- I am a happy and enthusiastic owner of one. It’s another reason this bums me out.
Anyway, loving a good pan as I do, I am still laughing at this reaction to the new commercial posted on a message board by a consumer: “Two thumbs down, and middle finger up to the marketing team that came up with this.” Well put!
If you think honesty doesn’t sell, by the way, check out the eye popping business results for the new Domino’s campaign from Crispin Porter + Bogusky, which admirably (and brilliantly) recognized the giant elephant in the room and basically said “okay, we know you think our pizza sucks, so we made it better.” How refreshing- and how effective.
The integrity issue aside, let’s hope that more clients and agencies turn to forthrightness simply because they want to build better brands. We would all benefit from it.