at the intersection of brands, media and culture

AKQA, Please Stop “Referencing” Other Agencies Work…

In advertising, agency, Branding, Brands, communications, Consumers, culture, strategy on March 24, 2008 at 1:24 pm

Am I the only one who thinks these ads are awfully similar? It’s not like Wieden didn’t win a Gold Lion for the Honda work and AKQA didn’t notice. Moreover, at least W+K’s work for Honda had to do with the product, what does this spot for AKQA have to do with beyond some nice visual effects?

The original Honda Ad from W+K:

Pot Noodle from AKQA:

Additionally, Ad Age is becoming worse than its brethren Ad Weak when it comes to honoring creative. And yes, I say that both because they like this ad from AKQA as well as the pro-leprocy/violence Skittles work from Chiat.

  1. I believe the AKQA ad is supposed to be a pastiche of a recent Guinness commercial, which can be seen here:

    So, yes, AKQA was consciously referencing another agency’s work (AMV BBDO in this case) – but not the agency you mentioned, and not in the way you implied.

    Feel free to edit the title of your post.

  2. Ok, so yes it does look far more like the BBDO work and yes the inflatable woman was a nice touch. Not sure anything changes or that “referencing” another agencies work is much better than “stealing.” Did creating a new unique concept come up as an idea?

  3. Is Mike Myers “stealing” from “The Man from Uncle” or “James Bond” in Austin Powers?

    Was Mel Brooks “stealing” from “Star Wars” in “Space Balls”?

    Were the Cohen brothers “stealing” from “The Odyssey” when they created “O Brother where art thou?” Was James Joyce, in “Ulysses”?

    How about Philip Pullman and his drawing from Milton in writing “The Dark Materials”?

    If you consciously decide to take the piss out of something, or use it as an inspiration for your own work, is that “stealing” from it?

    If so, it would seem that pretty much anyone who ever wrote, drew, filmed or sculpted anything is “stealing”.

    But great artists and all that …

  4. I agree with Ben on this one.

  5. […] Seriously, another one? I’m a bit amazed by all the science kids running around in production units these days. I’m also amazed that agencies continue to recycle concepts and that clients haven’t noticed. At least in this viral spot for Clustarack all the coolness supports the brand and makes sense. Watch the other culprits here. […]

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