Is Copycat Marketing Effective?

May 23, 2017

Typically, an advertiser’s worse nightmare is blending in with the crowd. Yet, you still come across ads that are incredibly similar to others in the industry—an ad in a newspaper that’s a mirror image of the one beside it, or a television commercial that’s just like the one you just watched. Believe it or not, this is sometimes a conscious effort, and the practice doesn’t only extend to marketing.

Facebook and Instagram both took a page out of Snapchat’s book in offering Stories, and the addition of the feature has proved to be profitable. However, it begs a few questions. For starters, is this practice ethical, and does that matter? Aside from ethics, is it effective as a marketing tactic as well? While there’s no hard and fast answer to any of these questions, our Boca Raton advertising agency is weighing in.


Many raised concerns when Facebook-owned social media platforms began mimicking Snapchat. That said, those concerns didn’t prove to be enough to stop users from using the new features that seemed to be crossing the line. Ultimately, what one deems ethical comes down to his or her personal beliefs. That said, ‘borrowing’ another individual’s intellectual property without paying for it is not only a question of right or wrong, but also of legality. When it comes to finding inspiration in another company’s marketing efforts, it’s important to ensure inspiration is all it is. Stealing ideas could land you in hot water legally, even if it seems harmless.


In a sense, it all depends how you look at it. If you see that a leading real estate agent with a similar target consistently posts ads in a particular magazine in your area and decide to follow suit, this action may prove to be beneficial. Likewise, you may see an uptick in leads if you recognize that advertising on Facebook has gained popularity in your industry and decide to give it a shot. However, while taking inspiration from successful marketing strategies isn’t a bad move, flat-out copying those ads is a waste of your marketing dollars. Similarly, investing in advertising without the guidance of a reputable marketing agency would be ill-advised. If you enter into new territory with no help, you risk putting out ineffective ads that eat up your marketing budget without returning leads.

Ultimately, copycat marketing isn’t the way to go. Instead of reflecting the efforts of your peers and hoping for the best, your best bet is to enlist the professionals. Our Boca Raton advertising agency can work with you to determine the best marketing strategy for your business. Give us a call today to get started!

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