A few days ago, there was a heated discussion over at copyranter about some new ads which recycle funny student exam answers of the “They Didn’t Study” variety. Meme-tastic scans of such exam answers (“Find X.” “Here it is.”), immortalized by benevolent teachers in public service to the entire Internet long ago, have floated around the web since the Usenet days. In the copyranter thread, some came down on the ad school for “recycling 8-year-old internet jpegs,” while others maintained that all ads repackage old ideas, and that the ads in question did so well.
Stealing old internet memes, that I can forgive. It’s not worth the effort to get all indignant – not when it can be much worse. How bad can it get? Behold! Compare BBDO Athens’ ad for Dexim at the top of this post to an early photo by Jamie Nelson below.
First of all: BBDO Athens, this is Photoshop Disasters calling. If you’re going to photoshop a model onto a background, at least make sure you get the shadows right. At least Jamie actually put the model on the that background. If you’re going to copy something, at least improve it. The agency lists the photographer, creative director, art director, art buyer, stylist, hair and makeup artist, and photo producer for this shoot. Clayton Cubitt asks, “it takes that many people to rip-off a young photographer’s little editorial shoot?” Why didn’t they just hire Jamie? This is from the same guys who produced that sexist BMW ad, by the way.
It all comes to a full circle so easily on the web. There’s a whole blog devoted to it. How can people think that they won’t get caught, in this day and age?