MTN or Glo: Who Copied Who?

Glo Borrow Me Credit

Glo Borrow Me Credit

MTN Xtratime

MTN Xtratime

Imagine the feeling a teacher gets while marking a student’s script but noticed that exactly the same thing on his script was what was on the script of another she had previously marked.
Just this past weekend on my way from an event at the Muson Centre Onikan, Lagos, along the Obalende road I came across the advert of a new product Globacom Nigeria had just launched “Borrow Me Credit” and the first thing that came to mind was “Who Copied Who”?
The banner showed a well known gospel artiste “Sammy Okposo” whose car had just gone faulty and obviously needed a treatment from a car specialist. But the feeling that I had seen a similar idea execution struck me and MTN Xtratime (a product recently launched by MTN Nigeria) advert came to mind.
In the advert execution a celebrity was also used (I really do not have a problem with the use of celebrities), Tiwa Savage, a musician, the advert showed her in the midst of nowhere and no help, in a flat tyre mess and needed to place a call through to someone possibly the mechanic or a towing station.
Since the products were similar their ad messages emphasised on the fact that even when you are stranded and you have no credit to call, you can always request for a top-up and pay later which is a good thing to the consumer, knowing that you have a network provider that is ready to help you save the day when you cannot and still give you the glory but still, there just was a smell of unprofessionalism in whoever did the copy the way the anonymous ‘first’ had done theirs.
These are little things that makes audience to lose trust and credibility in brands because you are simply saying that I cannot come up with a better idea or re-invent and repackage an idea but I can use that of another brand.
Just for the records MTN launched its product MTN Xtratime February 2014 and Globacom launched hers March 2014 but the periods the adverts came out might just be the deciding factor.
I would leave you the reader to objectively draw inferences on who is at fault.
A word of advice to whichever party is at fault. There are other better ways to execute this wonderful campaign and as an agency you should have an idea of your competitors’ executions so you don’t fall into the trap of “Copy-cating” or plagiarism.
Brilliant executions from both parties but you really do not have to put your audience through the mental stress of Who Copied Who.



  1. You accuse people of plagiarism, yet call the executions ‘brilliant’. Why bother critiquing if you’re still going to attempt to massage their egos? Just say it as is – They are both lame ads, very typical of most Nigerian brands, especially the so called big ones, who only hide under the pretty obvious but tacky strategy of Celebrity Appeal aka Brand Ambassadorship these days. Come to think of it, Airtel was the pioneer of this same product (Borrow airtime). It was beta-tested and launched successfully more than a year ago. Which means the likes of Glo and MTN had more than enough time to do their homework before releasing this crap.


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