Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Had They Seen Them?


On Monday night, this ad won the top award at Campaign Posters.

Less than two days later, these images whizz around the industry.



For me, this is a much more serious accusation than the Play Doh Bunnies/ LA artists plagiarism debate.

Re-purposing a painting with rabbits in it into a TV ad for colour televisions is an imaginative leap that undeniably requires craft and talent.

But the Heinz poster appears to be nothing more than a direct lift.

It's more like the scandal of the MFI ads on TV in the UK right now, which are a virtual re-make of ads that ran for IKEA in the US.

The question there was - had the UK agency (M&C Saatchi) seen the IKEA work (by Crispin Porter) and ripped it off, or was it just a coincidence?

Until someone squeals, we'll never know.

But in the Heinz case, I'm giving the McCann's creatives the benefit of the doubt. I doubt they'd seen these other ads. I mean, one of them looks like it's from Indonesia or somewhere like that.

Obviously it's deeply wrong that McCanns' should win creative awards (that's not what McCann's is for) but I don't think it's dishonest.

Whatever. The ad's not really that good anyway, is it? It's not even the best ad for Heinz I've seen recently.


This is.

23 comments:

Emily said...

Hi Scamp,

The ketchup-filled plate may just be a copy too...

Leo Burnett Paris did an ad very similar (I can't find a visual on the net). If you have the book 'Creative Advertising' by Thames & Hudson, it's on page 64!

Lunar BBDO said...

No offence to whoever produced that ad or the jury that awarded it, but if that's the best poster of the year we should probably all go home and weep.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone interested in awards these days? I remember when Campaign Posters took up two floors at the Grosvenor. Now they manage a room at the Hilton.

Anonymous said...

how about 'the meal in a can' campaign for ddb in 1960s?

Anonymous said...

It's hardly an original poster is it? We've all seen similar other ads (5star ketchup, straws sticking out of oranges, the bottom of a bottle of orange squash that looks like an orange...) so it makes me wonder what the jury were thinking when they gave it the gold award?

Paul said...

The Heinz Salad Cream "pourable sunshine" ads are much fresher than this poster - yet they won nothing as far as I know. But then I know very little. If this is the standard of posters now I bet Dave Dye can't wait for next year to enter his Posterscope work

Scamp said...

Yes. 'Pourable sunshine' is an interesting thought for salad cream, whereas I don't suppose the idea that tomato ketchup is made from tomatoes will surprise too many people.

Flo Heiss said...

Hey dude check this:
http://www.coloribus.com/admirror

Scamp said...

If only they had

Anonymous said...

If you check page 3 of the coloribus link above you'll also see the 'inspiration' for the multi-silver-winning Economist Cogs.

If a single member of the public thought the Economist circles were cogs, then got the visual pun, I'm a Chinaman (I'm not a Chinaman).

Toad said...

I agree it's unlikely they'd seen any of the other ads.

I mean it's a pretty obvious idea, no?

We had something like this in the US a few (10?) years back: someone won a Gold One Show Pencil for an ad for a 50% off sale at a ski shop (One Show loves to reward easy little retail ads)

The ad showed the tracks of a single ski in the snow with a headline that read something to the effect of "Skis. 50% Off."

So of course the next week, the trades are full of identical ads sent in by small local agencies around the country, the sorts of agencies who traditionally do 50% off ads for ski shops.

Again, so obvious a solution, I'm sure there was no stealing going on.

But still.

Candice said...

I think everybody has seen this ad before somewhere and this isn't the first time a 'recycled' ad has won something it shouldn't have. Anybody remember the Hellman's Light Mayonnaise poster from Lowe from a year or two ago? (where the label had slipped down to the bottom of the jar) It's a carbon copy of a D&AD winner in the eighties and it was even for the same brand!

Paul said...

I've just looked through the winners book from Campaign Posters and what a terrible selection of posters it is. "The Heinz poster is a very poor winner in a very poor year" I was thinking until I got to the last page and saw the Carlsberg litter idea. BRILLIANT! Tenners and Twenty's left lying around in public each carrying the message CARLSBERG DON'T DO LITTER. BUT IF THEY DID IT WOULD PROBABLY BE THE BEST LITTER IN THE WORLD. Why did this not win the Gold?

Anonymous said...

This a tragedy. And a travesty. And other words just like that.

Can you imagine the backslapping smugness at McCann's? This should not be allowed to happen.

Long live McCann bashing!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Scamp said...

Woohoo! I just removed a post. First time. Gosh, that was exciting. I can see the appeal of having censorship in an oppressive regime now. It's awesome.

Why did I remove it? I'm not even going to say. Mwah ha ha ha ha.

Anonymous said...

i liked the sure ads.

Anonymous said...

best use of photography? more4 was robbed.

Anonymous said...

well when everyone is trying to do the same thing (reductive visual posters that completely lack emotion) you're bound to end up with machine-like duplication. no surprise there.

Ben said...

Years ago, I recall a NSP ad for Larry's Shoes winning best in show at the Dallas TOPS awards. That night, I went home and dug through my old CAs and found an identical ad for someone else. I seem to remember the had had a visual of dotted lines where two feet should go. Anyone else remember some ad that looked like that? (It was a long time ago)

Anonymous said...

Scamp,

I think another point to make, is that with the advent of the internet ad sites there is more exposure of work and at a faster rate.

So some are just coincidences which is unavoidable, others maybe lifted, we will never know.

All we do know is that it weakens the idea and it doesn't make for the best work-which we should all strive for.

Where problems may arise is the frequency of lifted/inspired/dubious ideas by an agency or individual-the issues raised on Sony Balls, Cadbury Gorilla and Sony Bunnies is of interest. IE, the inspiration on one spot may be fair but for it to come from the same person on all three pieces of work and for that work to be lauded by the industry is perhaps questionable at best.

Charles Frith said...

Agreed. That last ad is a much better Heinz ad.

Anonymous said...

The original tomatoe ketchup ads are from DDB Istanbul and are printed in 'Advertising Now. Print' by Taschen, it just so happens that whilst on a placement at McCann a creative had the same book on his desk...strange but true. I think McCann were aware of it but that's just my opinion.