Skype, Hostelworld & The Sincerest Form Of Flattery

I’ve spent the last few days in Dublin and yesterday I spoke at the conference on how hostel owners could be using video, various forms of social media & viral marketing to promote their businesses.

As part of one of my presentations I talked about Skype’s Nomad campaign from last year in which Rebecca, a girl who works for their Australian advertising agency, was sent off round the world with the challenge that she had to stay moving for her entire journey. In a great bit of integrated social media marketing she used Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, DOPPLR, Facebook & a blog to keep the world posted on her travels and whilst it wasn’t a massive success (I have more followers on Twitter than she does) it was a lovely little campaign.

Whilst talking about the campaign I showed the following video to show how you can do quite interesting things on YouTube on a limited budget (if you exclude the cost of sending someone all the way round the world, though that doesn’t have to be expensive either). In it Rebecca ‘jumps’ around the world, leaping from one city to another till she’s circumnavigated the globe in just under 2 minutes.

I think you’ll agree that it’s rather cute and the music’s pretty good too.

After I’d done the presentation Colm, the Hostelworld editor, pointed me in the direction of a video he’d made for the site about a year before the Skype one. In the video, which you can see below, he ‘walks’ around the world, strolling from one city to another until he’s circumnavigated the globe in just under 3 minutes. The music’s pretty good too. Sound familiar?

Now, I very much doubt that Skype copied the Hostelworld video. In fact I think it’s more a case that they were both inspired by the (now) famous Where The Hell Is Matt videos, something that Colm was very open about. What it does show though is that being inspired by something else is no reason not to do something.

Because just as with cover versions, so long as you add to the original and somehow make it your own (which I think both Colm & Rebecca did) an homage can be just as valid as an original. After all, if Obama’s recent campaign taught us anything it’s that talent imitates whilst genius steals.

Imitation image by <<graham>> on flickr

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