Savvy readers will recognize this style as quite similar to Common Craft’s highly successful and excellent explanation videos (here’s their latest). Citizens Bank actually credits Common Craft with a link to YouTube at the bottom of the aforementioned page:
Inspired by Common Craft and their RSS feed video.
There’s no credit given on Citizens Bank’s YouTube page, or in the video itself.
Lee and Sachi are so nice, I’m sure they’d be pleased to be imitated (and I’m guessing that Citizens Bank isn’t the first copycat). And I’ve got to say, the Citizens Bank video is quite good. It uses too much cheesy clip art and lacks the secret sauce of Common Craft, but does a really good job of explaining how RRSPs work.
So is this a rip-off or an homage? Should I rise in defense of my friends Lee and Sachi? Or have they just invented a new kind of video, and there’s no point in raging against a tide of imitation? A good analogy is the screencast. I’m sure the second guy who created a screencast was emulating the first, but did he have a right to? Or, on a more personal (and much smaller) scale, sooner or later somebody’s going to copy our comic or love note pitches to bloggers.
In truth, I going with “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” on this one. It’s the price you pay for being original. Plus, I might want to copy their technique some day.