Seeing Spots: Lifetime Branding Effort Looks an Awful Lot Like Splashy Hotel Ad

Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas creative bowed last summer

A new sizzle reel designed to raise Lifetime’s brand profile ahead of the 2014-15 upfront season may look awfully familiar to the people who developed a certain nerve-jangling hotel campaign that bowed last summer.

Developed by writer/producer Steven Moseley, Lifetime’s 60-second “Social Revolution” spot is designed to tease the new on-air look the network plans to adopt this summer. Trouble is, it’s a dead ringer for the 30-second Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas “Misfit Right In” promo that debuted last July.

Both seizure-inducing spots rely on retina-frying colors, strobes and an editing style that perhaps can be best characterized as “oops, we’re fresh out of Adderall.” In the Cosmo execution, pithy slogans (“Break Some Eggs,” Make a Hot Mess”) are intercut with closeups of pouty-lipped models and blooming roses, while the Lifetime spot weaves similarly punchy verbiage (“Grow a Pair,” “#TalkDirty”) with shots of on-air talent (fashionistas Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum, the casts of Devious Maids and Witches of East End) and a suggestively shaped Bosc pear.

Ironically, about five seconds into the spot, the Cosmo creative exhorts viewers to value “one-offs” over “copies,” while Lifetime makes the rather iffy boast, “We don’t IMITATE.”

Both ads are scored by propulsive, high-BPM soundtracks. The Cosmo spot blares the 2011 Diplo/Major Lazer track “Original Don,” while Lifetime’s leans heavily on “Let the Credits Roll” by the New Orleans-based bounce artist Showboy Rickey.

According to chief marketing officer Lisa Marchese, the Cosmopolitan adopted the assaultive “Misfit” spot after its competitors began biting on its signature marketing style. “There have been a lot of spots that have come out that look like they almost could have been from us,” Marchese told Adweek last summer. “We wanted to create a spot that was radically different in form—the mix of typography to imagery, the way the imagery was shot. The tone is radically different. We wanted it to look like nothing else out there.”

Welp, it worked for about nine months. 

The Cosmo spot was created by agency of record Fallon, Minneapolis. Lifetime’s sizzle reel was developed in-house. Read more about Lifetime’s new branding initiative here.

Publish date: April 1, 2014 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT