Friday, June 19, 2009

Plagiarism or just creative license?

I was killing some time on 10 and 5 when i came across the new Vodacom ad: "Single Ladies". Since the death of Mo, FCB have used the opportunity to fill the creative void with some pretty awesome ads. "The Dictator", which led to weeks of "we been having it" being the choice phrase of every water cooler joke at the office, "Summer love" was an instant SA favorite, not overly creative but hey it was fun and it said what it needed to. Now a while back there was the infamous OK-Go rip-off, well not so much a rip-off as an out right purchase of the video rights and then slapping an MTN logo at the end, which received mixed reviews. People who knew of the already existing video (as in the target market) shouted foul, while those that were non the wiser loved it, saying things like: "Those crazy ad-guys, what will they think of next?".

So you'll understand why i was just mildly confused when seeing the "Single Ladies" ad. From the very first camp-like dance move my jaw dropped and i said to a colleague "...but that's a rip-off of that gay dancing dude we checked the other day", shortly followed by him saying- "yeah well as that other gay guy dancing in-front of the hedges clip." I got home that evening to be met by my wife (beautiful) laughing hysterically at, you guessed it- the "Single Ladies" ad. Now don't get me wrong, the ad is funny. Actually it's fucking funny. It just somehow doesn't seem right, like we've been duped, taken for a bit of a ride? Let me put it like this: Ask yourself this, hypothetically, you've made an ad "inspired" by a funny you-tube clip, and it turned out great. One day your sitting with a few friends having a drink and you're introduced to your mates new girlfriend as the guy who did "that ad". She smile and says, "No way! I love that ad!, how did you come up with something like that?". Now do you respond by saying, "Thanks, it's what i do." or "Thanks, actually it wasn't my idea-we just repackaged something we saw on the net and made it look really cool".

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