The Legal Perils of Nostalgia Marketing

spacevampire2.jpgThe Web is perfect for nostalgia-based marketing. Interactive capabilities mean advertisers can help you relive the adventures and games of youth, and so they have done going right back to the first whack-a-mole banner ad. But replicating those bygone experiences evidently carries with it a certain risk of infringement, as DaimlerChrysler is learning with a new lawsuit filed against it by “Choose Your Own Adventure” publisher Chooseco.

Chooseco, which is reviving the book series, filed its complaint after the company’s Jeep brand developed an elaborate microsite replicating its trademark format in a video setting. Called “Choose Your Adventure,” the experience let visitors guide the decisions of a band of four friends on a backwoods treasure hunt starring its Patriot model. People could even generate a personal profile, complete with photo, to customize the storyline.

Now I’m trying to think back to when I read those books as a kid, but try as I might I can’t recall whether any of the storylines involved a snarling corporate lawsuit. If so, maybe DaimlerChrylser could pick up a copy and see how it ends.

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