NetZero Creatively Recreates AOL Commercial As Anti-AOL Commercial

from the sneaky,-there dept

It’s one of those painfully slow holiday week news days, without much going on in the wide world of tech. So, all the stories we seem to be seeing are somewhat random, such as this one from Dan , who writes: “I direct your attention to a NetZero commercial that ran during last nights CSI:Miami. The commercial in question takes a stab at the latest round of horribly annoying AOL commercials. It seems that the makers of the NetZero commercial took this AOL commercial, and dubbed over it. The dialogue in the new commercial is as follows: “Sir? It seems that some of our customers are switching to NetZero.” “Which ones?” “Looks like all of them.” Shot of hundreds of people: “BYE AOL!!” This seems like a risky step for NetZero. This opens them up for a whole round of lawsuits from AOL. But, in my opinion, the gratification is well worth it. “ This would be the same AOL commercial that seems to suggest (on its own) that AOL users hate their service. In trying to confirm this story, I haven’t been able to find a version of the NetZero commercial online, but have spoken with a few people who insist, rather than an overdub, it’s a remake of the original commercial. Still, it’s an interesting legal question. Is remaking a competitor’s commercial with a very different meaning a protected parody? Or will AOL see it as infringement. NetZero is probably banking on the extra publicity either way. Update: Looks like they redid the both annoying AOL ads, but made them both look very, very similar. The ad agency that did them is hosting a comparison of the ads, so you can see the original AOL ads and the new NetZero ones.

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Comments on “NetZero Creatively Recreates AOL Commercial As Anti-AOL Commercial”

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Mikester says:


I saw this last night too. Unfortunately, as with most commercial breaks, I had the commercials mostly tuned out (I hope this isn’t illegal yet). I hadn’t realized until the end that it was in fact a NetZero commercial and not the original, annoying AOL one, so I can’t be sure either if it was a remake or a dub. Either way, this “Apologevent” will probably generate some press and do NetZero a favour.

anono-mouse (user link) says:

Re: Apologevent

It isn’t illegal, even if it wasn’t a parody, there is nothing illegal about using similar looking ads, unless AOL went and copyrighted the whole genre or something.
It’ll prolly piss em off tho, and it generally isn’t a good idea to piss off people with lots of lawyers, they may sue just to rake up cost even tho they wouldn’t have ligit case.

Dustin Fasching says:

NetZero Commercial is not re-dubbed.

I was one of the actors in the NetZero commercial that shows all the AOL members leaving. To be specific, I am the guy standing behind the guy that tells the receptionist we’re leaving. Everything was reshot (masterfully I might add) with all new actors and a dummy set. The receptionist was played by a remarkable doppleganger. So, hopefully no lawsuits.

audrie says:

There are others

How about these two that also appear to be what I call “stolen commercials”:

1. AOL commercial with lady and the baby that gets on the table. NetZero turns that one around to their corner.

2. Netscape gives Net Zero a taste of its own medicine when it steals the commercial where the Net Zero guy sits next to the Netscape guy and shows him why he should switch. In the Net Zero version he switches back!

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