Did Ogilvy and American Express get inspired by Grasshoppers inspirational video?

This weeks mysterious coincidence is brought to you by David Hauser of Grasshopper and his googleanalytics. Did Ogilvy and American express get inspired by “Entrepreneurs Can Change the World” (which would be kind of approriate since it's meant to be an inspiration video, funny) Is this a case of overly inspired, demo-love, or are these footprints in the digital world there for a much simpler reason -such as; Ogilvy heard from other people that their ad was similar to grasshoppers and wanted to check it out for themselves? What do you think?

Between May 1 2009 and July 26th 2009: o Ogilvy agencies visited our Grasshopper website over 15 times, spending nearly 3 hours or total viewing time. o The same Ogilvy agency spent the vast majority of these hours on our “idea” page which contains ONLY our video o The entirety of their traffic was either around May 4th (when our campaign first launched) or the 2nd week in July (right before their campaign launched). o The same Ogilvy agency then researched the producer of our video (Sonja Jacob) and visited her site 10+ times, around the exact 2 time period listed above. All the pages they viewed were specific to Sonja’s Grasshopper work.

Lets watch the American Express - Small Business Owners Anthem shall we? Pay extra attention to the music.

Now, this is the grasshopper video, a two minute long kinetic type animation set to an original score created by Carly Comando.

The people at grasshopper can't be sure that this is a case of demo-love, and they add it's not the similarities that bother them, it's the lack of creativity at a BDA (to borrow George Parker's phrase).

Now what bothered us here at Grasshopper is not how oddly similar the 2 ads are, but rather the use our message. Ogilvy’s use of this “borrowed” message was for direct commercial gain by AMEX to promote their OPEN Forum. We understand that here at Grasshopper we do ultimately sell a product; but the purpose of this video was to motivate entrepreneurs, or anyone for that matter, to go out and do something, make a difference. We can’t understand why a near billion-dollar agency, with so many resources, couldn’t be more creative? Either way, draw your own conclusions; I simply hope you will consider spreading the word about the video that inspired it all, “Entrepreneurs Can Change the World”, as well as the message that we really are capable of turning this country around.

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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Dabitch's picture

What really bothers me about the Amex ad is that they're showing "entrepreneurs" that are the usual 'selling stuff people don't really need' shop-types. A restaurant owner, a cake baker, a flower/nursing place... Eh? Where's the light here? I don't get it. I don't see anything new.

cavcopy's picture

Unfortunately that light is the proverbial oncoming train.

Neo's picture

Indeed it is.

Also, dabs, I thought you said you weren't going to post other peoples badlanders? :)

Dabitch's picture

I just figured with the stats shown we could have one of those Friday-never-die-threads adding theories of what really went on here. :)

kamari's picture

That AMEX ad is just the same old crap.