Is it OK to copy a successful video concept?
A good video concept is not always easy to define. What makes it harder is when you see so many clever ideas that have already been successful. After a viral video comes the copy-cat videos, each attempting to share a little bit of the limelight. So is this a good tactic? Can you take someone else’s idea and adapt it for your own purposes?
Copyright law is very complex and way beyond the reach of this article. It is probably safe to say that the legal and financial implications of directly copying a video marketing concept, will inevitably come down to who has the biggest pockets, the best lawyers and of course a stomach for such a fight. But as there are many ‘versions’ of already popular videos still online, it also clear that for some this can work and is worth the risk.
Another question to consider is, would such an accusation damage your brand and what would your customers think of you for choosing this route? If your business is all about innovation, ideas and developing concepts, then clearly this is not going to look good. However, if you offer a mainstream product or service could this help you achieve valuable new exposure?
Most businesses who do take the copy-cat route often forget that what works for one audience will not necessarily work for another. For example selling low cost personal health products to the US public is a very different scenario than selling business services to other UK businesses. Taking one idea and transposing it to another means a number of dangerous assumptions.
As with all marketing activities, the same old rules apply to shaping your final solution. Everything from the audience identification, the desired benefits and the end action need to be considered a long time before choosing your videos concept. Simply picking a popular video theme and re-purposing it for your business is not marketing – at best its gambling.
Inspiration is the safer route. Most ideas have already been used in one form or another, true originality in marketing is extremely rare and could even be risky in areas that don’t welcome the radical approach. Inspiration is something that happens continuously, every experience adds to the bank of future ideas and are often ‘re-mixed’ in the next new marketing concept. Often this produces something part unique and part familiar, something that most viewers are comfortable with.
There is still plenty of opportunity in the video marketing world, which correctly implemented will work extremely well for your business.