You may not know the product that this New Zealand TV spot is advertising, but you’ll recognize the commercial nonetheless – Sony’s Kevin Butler did it first.

Do you recognize the above advertisement, produced by New Zealand’s TV3 to promote its Monday night lineup of assuredly excellent television? No? Then you clearly haven’t been following Sony’s splendid Kevin Butler ad campaign, as it’s almost a word for word imitation of a February ad starring the fake Sony executive.

Call it an homage or call it a rip-off, either way it’s downright identical – only, the TV3 ad doesn’t have Kevin Butler which makes it completely inferior.

As Joystiq notes, this thing is far more common the other way around, with large corporations stealing ideas from smaller ad campaigns. Some companies that have been accused of running rip-off ads include Apple, 3M and Sony itself.

Smaller advertisers generally don’t take ideas from the big dogs for fear of reprisal, which is why it feels a bit strange that TV3 would run a nigh-identical ad spot to Sony’s massive Kevin Butler campaign.

Oh well. I guess The Butler was just too cool to resist.

(Buttonmasher.NZ, via Joystiq)

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