A story surfaced this week indicating that one of McDonald’s advertising companies, Tribal Buenos Aires in Argentina, created an intelligently designed bicycle-friendly take-out bag. The only problem was the exact same design was previously released by a graduate student from the Rhode Island School Of Design. Seulbi Kim, who currently works in the product design division at Apple, created the original version of the packaging in 2014 as part of a school project.
“It’s cool to have my design out in the real market but also not really cool to have it copied without my permission”, said Kim.
It’s too early to know what the fallout aside from some bad PR will be. The McDonald’s ad promoting their “new” McBike packaging even shows a blueprint of the packaging during the research and development stage of their original marketing idea.
Original Marketing Matters
While a massive company like McDonald’s w0n’t come crumbling to the ground due to a packaging scandal, it’s important to ensure your company isn’t making similar mistakes. Whether you’re considering stealing an idea for packaging or think that a little plagiarism will save you time during blogging think again. In the online universe original marketing and original content is valued and the opposite is recognized very quickly.
When it comes to your website or blog content one of the best SEO (Search engine Optimization) practices you can employ is to create rich unique content. Aside from infringing on copyright laws, Google and other major search engines quickly identify duplicate content and actually penalize websites in their search results for copying content. Google uses a duplicating filter to eliminate your duplicated content from their search results, so really there’s no tricking Google.
Search engines also rank your site based on original content, so if you fail to update your site content and leave it to get stagnant, or you copy content from another site search engines won’t crawl your site as much and you will drop in search results.
Creating your own content may take longer, but you can ensure that you’re presenting your message effectively and accurately, and not just trying to fill your site with clever material that you pass off as your own.
You can check if your site or a competitor’s site has duplicate content with a website like Copyscape.