Aero’s Balloon Skateboarding Ad Draws Ire

About a couple years ago, I went to this marketing conference in Chicago. One of the guys that was presenting there caught my attention. After showing the audience viral campaigns that worked for him, he said: “All these ideas already existed. I found them online and knew they would do a great viral job, so all I did was take them and adapt them to fit with my client’s products and target markets”.

Well, I was wandering around online today and found this article on mediabistro.com. It totally reminded me of the “Stealing and Adapting” theory from that guy from Chicago.


“In 2007, skateboard-dude Dave England got an idea — fill a bowl (the skateboarding kind) with balloons and send a skater through it. Soon after he filmed Matt Beach doing just that. We posted the video above for your viewing pleasure.

Writes England, “I had this idea for a while to fill a skate bowl with balloons and try to ride through them. It seemed like the chances of it working were slim. I figured they might make your wheels stop. We finally tried it anyways and as you can see… it worked just fine.”

But of course, a for-money version was created and now the skater-haters are in a tizzy. Rightfully so — these dudes cling to their culture like a baby monkey to its mother’s back. Click continued to see what some people are calling the “ripoff” version, which was produced by JWT Endland for Aero candy. Skating-legend Bob Burnquist and skate-cinematographer Ty Evans teamed with Aero (a Nestle holding) to make ‘Feeling the Bubbles’. In the video’s description, the creators admit, “First there was the Youtube Balloon Bowl. Now Bob and Ty have taken this amazing idea to the next level by skating through a world of them!”

Mars learned the hard way that “stealing” from skate videos is a really, really bad idea. Skaters pissed about Snickers’ obvious ripoff of the classed ‘Fully Flared’ video vowed to boycott the brand — we presume Milky Way sales went up.

But Evans/Burnquist’s video outright admits that they’ve borrowed from a good idea to make this spot. Will skaters be as upset this time around? Regardless, the lesson here seems to be that when it comes to skate-centric commercials an agency must be completely original. That or risk backlash from a huge community. JWT seems to have done a better job of it, but pretty much everywhere you find a story about the campaign there’s at least a reference to the Snickers ad.

By the way, according to The Guardian, Nestle dropped $10 million into this campaign. Wonder if England and Beach got any of that. Oh and as expected, skaters are ripping the piece apart.”

~CG

Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.” – Oscar Wilde

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