Colin the caterpillar and Free Cuthbert cake and PR wars.png

My Dad had a saying that “the originals are always the best”

by Darren Caveney

I largely agree with that. Think film, music, cars, clothes. The original Wicker Man. The original Office (controversial with my daughter) the original mini (probably controversial with new mini owners).

Of course, there are exceptions which prove every rule – think Johnny Cash’s cover of Hurt. It’s so much better than the original.

But I do believe there is a clear pattern.

Cake and PR wars

Now I love a fun thread on Twitter as much as the next person. It’s what for me still makes it the best social media platform for news and views.

Some of the posts relating to #FreeCuthbert are brilliant. More on the background here if you missed it.

But I do have a problem with copying and the whole issue of benefitting from other people’s ideas.

Always have had.

We’ve all had that boss who sat in a meeting and talked about – or worse still, took credit for – your idea or your work. Smarts doesn’t it?

That’s because it’s wrong that someone else profits from your original idea or your hard work.

I’ll always remember a boss going to collect an award for a piece of work I had laboured over. But I got over myself and chalked it up as experience for the younger me.

I’ve seen it happen to others too. It’s generally more junior staff who are the recipients in my experience but not always.

Because here’s the thing: If you create something good or which seems to be successful, someone somewhere will copy it. And if they copy if for long enough others often forget the person who created it in the first place.

It’s happened to me in business in the past 10 years. I’m old enough now not to let it bother me. But it can still jar, just a little.

Talk to any creative agency and they will have a book-ful of examples of where their creatives and ideas have been copied. No, let’s call it what it is – nicked.

Where do I stand of Colin and Cuthbert?

Is there some PR puffery at play here too? Probably. You can bet sales of all of the originals and lookalikes go up this weekend.

Well for the record I do like a Colin – it’s ages since I had one but I remember them being good. Nice chocolate, from memory. I haven’t tried an Aldi copy. And I won’t be buying one. There, I’ve said it.

I did try a mini version of the Sainbury’s cousin, Wiggles, the other week. It wasn’t very good. I hadn’t thought very deeply about my purchase choice. So I’m as guilty as the next cake buyer.

I’ll invest in a Colin next time.

Sometimes, you really do get what you pay for.

And whether that is a comedy cake character, or something making a few £££s off something you did first, I’m not a fan.

Think of your own ideas

Think of your own ideas, said Anthony Burrill.

I have it on my kitchen wall.

It’s as true now as the day he created it.

I bet someone has copied it, mind.

Darren Caveney is the creator of comms2point0 and owner of specialist consultancy Creative Communicators Ltd. You can say hello on Twitter at @darrencaveney and connect on LinkedIn.

*Sign up for the comms2point0 eMag*

The comms2point0 eMag features exclusive new content, free give-aways, special offers, first dibs on new events and much, much more.

Sound good? Join over 2.6k other comms people who have subscribed. You can sign up to it right here

Original source – comms2point0 free online resource for creative comms people – comms2point0

Comments closed