It seems Pepsi just can’t come up with a truly original idea. In case you missed it, in 2007, a YouTube page went up called “Farewell Mr. President” in which consumers said goodbye to George W. Bush. The page, as well as the spots were created and directed by filmmaker Greg Olliver.
Have you seen the Pepsi “Dear Mr. President” YouTube campaign? In those spots, celebs send their message to President Obama. Consumers are charged with creating a video with their own message. Hmm… something does seem familiar here. Is it the editing style? Yes. There’s that, too, but hmm… what is it? Oh right. The concept.
However, you know how this business goes. In fact, you know how creativity goes. People get ideas from all that is around us – art, music, film, a conversation, a shape on a tree. That’s the nature of ideas and one of the legs of consumer generated content. Ideas come from everywhere. Some body at R/GA, the company behind the spot, probably saw Olliver’s Farewell and forgot about it until the creative meeting. They tweaked the idea and sold it to Pepsi. Maybe not even consciously. Also, teen pop idol Pink has a whole song called Dr. President on her album “I’m Not Dead,” which dropped in 2006. Long before Olliver. Does she have a case against Pepsi? And kids in Kansas City are writing letters under a civic campaign with the same name. So, the idea of talking to the president or about the president isn’t a new one.
These are tough questions. So, what do you guys thinks? Does Olliver have a leg to stand on? See the two spots in question below.