Let’s all say this together: Flikr is not free photography. You cannot just pull images off of the site and use them in an ad.
Oh, and there are professional shooters on Flikr who watch for agencies that try to steal their work. So you will get sued if you do it.
Like Heineken was.
A website for Heineken in Ireland was recently sued for copyright violation after using hundreds, if not thousands, of copyrighted photos in its promotion of the brand’s sponsorship of the Oxygen music festival.
Who knew that Flikr wasn’t a dam good place to get free photography? Heineken.
(See what I did there with that “dam” joke? Yeah? Eh? Oh.)
Their explanation is that the site was supposed to only pull photos with the commercial CC license, but even that is problematic as that license can be changed at any time, leaving the brand liable…which sort of cements the somewhat obvious fact that half-assing it by stealing pictures from the internet and using them for commercial purposes isn’t a good idea.
Not that you would, but don’t try to get away with using photos from Flikr. It’s a bad idea.
Dutch brewer Heineken is out of the gates with their campaign for Amstel light and, har har, it’s a damn simple idea to use the “dam” in Amsterdam to tie the brand to Holland’s brewing heritage…especially since, based on unscientific Brandtags results, people seem to think that Amstel and Heineken are made in Germany.
Considering the state of our public schools, it wouldn’t surprise me if most people knew that the beer was brewed in Amsterdam and just thought that Amsterdam was in Germany…though, as an aside, it would surprise me if a majority of high school students could successfully point out Germany on a world map.
I worry about the future.
I also worry about this advertising because, while nice and simple, it doesn’t really do anything to position the beer against incursions from Corona, which has built its brand around the no worries beach lifestyle…something that is positive and fun. Amsterdam is positive and fun, but it may take more to get there than just “dam good bier.” That line sorta looks like English anyway, and it isn’t much of a departure from the current work.
To sum up in broken Dutch, dit advertentie ist afgezaagd.
I know that this ad is reported to be effective. I imagine that the reports are true as it still seems to run. And yes, effectiveness is one measure of good advertising. But this ad is a turkey (as you can tell, I can’t wait for Thanksgiving dinner):
Creativity is what sets us apart and, though sometimes showing the product and its benefit, or even just a gigantic product shot is all that is called for…
…marketers should do better. Because the success of an ad isn’t just measured in what it does for sales. Really, it isn’t. It’s also, and in some cases primarily, about building your brand.
At some time your unique point of difference is going to be gone, and you will live or die based on the strength of your brand. And you are not building your brand with annoying commercials. You are shooting for short-term growth only.
Heineken may have more of an argument for what they are doing, since it is a new product launch and there is a halo around the Heineken name from the base brand advertising. Head On, however, has no excuse.
Don’t tell me that your ad is effective and only measure it by sales. If you do, I will smack you with a hot, juicy shank of turkey and turn you out.