Copycatting allegations emerge in Philippines over Y&R’s ‘It’s in our nature’ campaign

Y&R's 'It's in our nature' ad for Garage

Y&R’s ‘It’s in our nature’ ad for Garage

Questions have been raised in the Philippines over similarities between a global campaign created in Hong Kong four years ago and one released locally last week.

Sources suggest that a press campaign for Philippine men’s lifestyle magazine Garage, created by Y&R Philippines, has been heavily influenced by a global Ogilvy-created campaign for Shangri-La that launched in 2010.

Both campaigns use the line ‘It’s in our nature’, and a number of executions from the Garage campaign use birds as the creative vehicle to dramatise the difference between how females and males can appear in the natural world.

The campaign for Shangri-La features a swan sheltering a sleeping woman. The idea behind the campaign was to convey the hotel’s culture of treating people like family.  

Ogilvy's 'It's in our nature' campaign for Shangri-La

Ogilvy’s ‘It’s in our nature’ campaign for Shangri-La from 2010

Other executions in Y&R’s print series for Garage feature birds of different varieties and the idea that, which some species of animal, the male is more striking in appearance.

Chickens Garage ad

The campaign, led by chief creative officer Badong Abesamis with Herbert Hernandez as ECD, also features male and female lions, fish and deer.

Garage lion execution

In response to Mumbrella’s questions, a Y&R spokesperson said: “Within the context of the entire Garage campaign, it uses many examples from the animal world where the male of the species is more striking than the female. The ads are saying it’s in a guy’s nature to take pride in his appearance, and Garage is the magazine to help men do that.”

The agency did not comment on the similarities between the two ads, while Ogilvy did not respond to Mumbrella’s request for comment.

The incident is the latest in a string of copycatting rows in the Philippines.

In November 2013, local agency J Romero & Associates accused rivals Leo Burnett and DDB DM9 of copying its ads for Shakey’s Pizza Parlor with work for McDonald’s and Smart Communications. And in July, DDB DM9 publicly apologised in a national newspaper to rival Saatchi & Saatchi for using copy in an ad that had been written by a writer while he was an employee of Saatchi & Saatchi.

Even BBDO Guerrero’s highly awarded ‘Labels against women’ commercial for Pantene, which went viral last year and was praised by Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg in Cannes a few weeks back, met with early criticism that it was a copy of US TV series The Glee Project.


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