Friday, January 21, 2011

Are the creatives getting uncreative?

They say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery. This could be true. While those who are uninformed may call sampling in the context of music “unoriginal”, how does it shape up in the world of advertising? Is the fact that I’m writing about two of these seemingly unoriginal ideas not proof that their very purpose might actually be achieved?

Dos X “The Most Interesting Man in the World”
I won’t lie; Dos X has done a great job crafting a spokesperson that leaves us all wondering, who is this man, and most importantly, what is his name? The Most Interesting Man in the World is a great personification of the brand, and I’m sure countless consumers feel a notch above the hopeless hacks drinking watered down domestics. I personally just like saying, ”Dos X”, out loud. 

But beyond the slick presentation, the elegant women, and the suave nature of The Most Interesting Man in the World, we’re left with a sophisticated version of the much overplayed Chuck Norris joke series.

Take this tidbit of original copy: “He would show you his feminine side…if he had one”.

Out of context, and with no previous exposure to the Dos X ads, you would be fooled into thinking this is clearly a Chuck Norris reference.


T-Mobile “iPhone vs MyTouch”
I hate Apple. I don’t know why, I just do. Yet I am constantly applauding their product design, functionality, and most importantly their branding and advertising. They’re brilliant, and I’m probably just jealous. Then again, I hated Michael Jordan when he was a player, and now I’m considering having kids just so I can tell them about my time watching the greatest basketball player of all time.

Launching their 4G network and MyTouch device, T-Mobile is running a play on the popular “I’m a Mac” adverts. To me, at least Microsoft, who was directly challenged by Apple, came back with some decently creative work. But then again, it’s hard to mess things up when you hand Crispin Porter  + Bogusky $300million.

I understand the concept of playing off a widely successful Apple ad campaign. You see that’s why Apple is rather brilliant. Simple concept, simple set up. And everyone knows exactly which ads I’m talking about.

I understand that bagging on AT&T’s much maligned service is beyond easy.

Does all this give you license to (uncreatively) steal someone else’s work?

I mean, not only have they stolen the premise and concept of the ads, it seems like the script copy follows the same lines as well.  Part of me has to believe that the whole thing had to be some kind of ironic parody. But aren’t parodies supposed to contain some element of quality? Judgin by the “Scary Movie” franchise reaching four releases, maybe I’m underestimating the American public’s craving for utter bollocks.

And what’s up with the knock off Catherine Zeta-Jones in the ads?

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