The subreddit r/showerthoughts is one of the site’s most popular with more than 6 million subscribers. While you can spend all day browsing the various thought bubbles, some Redditors are now claiming men’s personal care brand Axe (yes, that Axe) has done more than browsed – it lifted content to use in a new commercial.
Last month, Axe aired a new commercial series with the same subreddit title to promote its shower gel. The link between the product and the concept is obviously clever, but Redditors claim some of the lines used in the ad are lifted verbatim.
“This event was off the charts”
Gary Vaynerchuk was so impressed with TNW Conference 2016 he paused mid-talk to applaud us.
“When you’re criticized for being short, they’re really just saying the worst thing about you is that there isn’t more of you,” the commercial begins, before cutting to a shot of 5′ 3 basketball legend Muggsy Bogues doing his thing.
The line, Redditors claim, was posted on r/showerthoughts at least seven months prior to the ad’s premiere, which now has 18K+ thumbs down on YouTube. Axe later released a second video to the series, which AdWeek speculates may have derived from another similar post.
While it seems pretty blatant where Axe’s source of inspiration comes from, many Redditors also aren’t surprised given that the site never promised copyright guarantees for sharing original thoughts or content.
As with the nature of the viral internet, it’s difficult to prove anything posted online is your original work.
Ethics aside, Axe has now managed to get Redditors to watch its commercial – so really, we’re all losers. Axe has not responded publicly to the allegations.