Reddit users are accusing Unilever male deodorant brand AXE of “stealing” their content in a recently-launched advertising campaign, without giving them credit.
Last month, AXE launched a new online video series called “Shower Thoughts,” produced by its agencies Defy Media and Mindshare Entertainment.
The first ad in the series sees a man pondering to himself in the shower: “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 ad then cuts to a scene of 5′ 3” basketball legend Muggsy Bogues completely outplaying two taller men who challenge him to a two-on-one game on the basketball court.
As Digiday first reported last week, Reddit user “Sleepy_time_wit_taco” posted the ad to the /r/PolitcalVideo subreddit, with the title: “‘AXE’ is jacking our shower thoughts and not giving credit. Literally word for word.”
In August last year, “JaSfields” had posted in the /r/Showerthoughts subreddit: “When you’re criticised for being short, they’re really just saying the worst thing about you is that there isn’t more of you.”
JaSfields is certain AXE copied his idea. The Reddit user wrote:
I did a quick google search of the exact wording I used excluding all results after my post and it returned nothing to do with what I posted. Given the number of words which exist in the english language and the number strung together in that post I’d be highly surprised if they were ever put together in that combination ever before in the history of mankind. Then again, I could be wrong, I don’t know. But yeah as far as I can see the “exact wording” is my idea.
Of course it’s difficult for any Reddit user to say they they really “own” their Shower Thought idea – indeed some people replying to the /r/PoliticalVideo subreddit were certain they’d seen the “short” meme before. And as with all social media, Reddit is often a place where jokes and ideas are endlessly recycled. Nevertheless, JaSfields still wants credit from AXE.
The video in question has now been viewed more than 800,000 times on YouTube and has received more than 18,000 downvotes, likely from angry Redditors, judging by the comments.
AXE-owner Unilever, Defy Media, and Mindshare Entertainment could not immediately be reached for comment.