“Apple Computer, known for its trend-setting technology, finds itself in the uncomfortable position of being labeled a follower — or worse, a rip-off artist — over a new ad campaign,” Holly M. Sanders writes for The New York Post. “Apple’s new ad featuring rapper Eminem, set to his hit ‘Lose Yourself,’ is under scrutiny after some keen ad watchers suggested it bears a startling resemblance to an earlier commercial for Lugz boots… The 4-year-old Lugz ad was created by New York animation house Psyop on behalf of another ad agency. The Apple spot, developed by the computer maker’s longtime agency TBWA, was introduced last week by Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs at an industry gathering to launch the new video iPod.”
Sanders writes, “Both ads show hip-hop figures dancing in silhouette against an orange-hued, urban backdrop with plenty of graffiti. There are some differences worth noting as well, such as the dancing styles and music. ‘To my eye, the similarities are painfully close, and it’s unfortunate that such a prestigious client buys into such re-used stuff,” one observer, who goes by the cheeky name “think similar,’ wrote on the blog Ad-freak.com. TBWA referred calls to Apple. A spokesman for Apple declined to comment on the ads. Justin Booth-Clibborn, executive producer for Psyop, said his firm has endured its share of copycats and there are no plans to ‘make waves.’ Still, he admits that even he was struck by the similarities.”
Full article here.
Jobs said they’d been working on the Eminem ad for over two years. Sure, TBWA might have some explaining to do to Jobs, but this is just some NY Post-style ado about nothing. Advertising agencies pride themselves on recycling ideas. It’s one of the basic tools of the business. Hopefully that ad sold a lot of boots the first time around and now it’ll sell a lot of iPods and iTunes Music Store music and video files. Apple deserves no heat over this one. TBWA does.
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Apple’s Eminem iPod+iTunes ad airs on U.S. television networks – October 17, 2005
Apple reposts Eminem iPod+iTunes ad online – October 17, 2005
Apple removes new Eminem iPod ad from website – October 12, 2005