Elixirr parodies famous Apple ad in response to new Deloitte campaign

06 November 2018 Consultancy.uk 4 min. read
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Shots have been fired in a marketing duel between Elixirr and Deloitte, with the former not-so-subtly implying the global business giant had taken inspiration from the young consultancy’s award-winning branding. Elixirr’s Managing Partner has even released a parody of Apple’s famous ‘Get a Mac’ series as a way of poking fun at the development.

Months after Elixirr was announced as the winner of a top marketing prize among the business community, Big Four professional services firm Deloitte seems to have released a similar new campaign to drum up new business. The auditing and advisory giant premiered a new series of ‘Make your mark’ adverts across the UK at the start of autumn 2018, with a number featuring a prominent white thumb-print emblazoned above the phrase “Need unique solutions?”

Elixirr, which was founded in 2009 by Managing Partner Stephen Newton and a cohort of former Accenture Partners from the UK, has used a white and gold thumb-print as its corporate emblem since rebranding in 2015. The self-styled ‘challenger consultancy’ has worked tirelessly in recent years to present a unique public image which would build the firm’s client base.

Elixirr parodies famous Apple ad in response to new Deloitte campaign

The strategy worked, as the UK-based firm was named one of the fastest growing consulting businesses in Europe in 2017, having recorded a revenue of €21.5 million, at a growth rate of 424% while, following its expansion into the US, the firm performed a similar feat in the American market. As a survey from Hinge Marketing recently found that high growth consulting firms are often specialised in and invest in marketing, so it is not a great leap to consider Elixirr’s subsequent success is at least partially a testament to a strong marketing department. 

Speaking to Consultancy.uk, Ellie Duffus recently described how Elixirr’s marketing strategy began and how it evolved. She said, “For us it was (and still is actually!) all about brand. Perception is everything and for us as a young, challenger brand, it was vital that we created a strong identity, a distinct personality. So the first thing we did when I joined was start a rebranding project and we spent a lot of time solidifying our positioning, our messaging and designing the framework behind the brand. We were crystal clear on what we wanted to be famous for, so it flowed very naturally!”

The rebranding exercise drew plaudits from the 2018 Drum Marketing Awards, landing the B2B Marketing Strategy prize from a list of competitors including financial institution Barclays, as well as marketing agencies Earnest, Harvard, mark-making, RLA Group, Stein IAS and Velocity Partners. Despite this, upon noticing the similarities between Elixirr’s corporate identity and Deloitte’s new campaign, the rapidly expanding consultancy seems to have taken the news in its stride.

Commenting via his personal LinkedIn profile, Stephen Newton contrasted two photographs of the branding side by side, before quipping, “Imitation is the best form of flattery. Unique solutions?”

Elixirr’s Managing Partner was not done there though, and two weeks later, debuted a series of short videos making further light of the situation. The trio of films released so far parody Apple’s long-running ‘Get a Mac’ adverts, which launched in 2006. In the original, John Hodgman and Justin Long respectively starred as the bumbling PC and the hip, unflappable Mac, in a succession of shorts that would be later declared by AdWeek to be the best advertising campaign of the first decade of the new century.

In the post accompanying the first skit, Newton added, “When we use someone else’s great idea, we like to give them credit. Thanks Apple.”