Memo to Agency: Power of Internet Works Both Ways

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.

…really? Really?

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?

[via Siege]

10 Responses to “Memo to Agency: Power of Internet Works Both Ways”

  1. Tequila Says:

    “Why didn’t they just hire Jamie?”

    Seriously…wouldn’t it have been easier, cheaper, and less embarrassing to just PAY for the original image? I mean the hard work was not only done but the quality was better…

    I seriously doubt those who did the rip-off job had more than 1 person on this project…$5 says it was an intern at that. A drunk one…with poor eyesight, ADD, and no understanding about how light and shadows work. :P

    Also those shoes are ugly.

  2. R. Says:

    That is indeed said. It would have been a hell of lot easier to hire the original photographer then steal the idea. Sheesh, is nothing sacred these days? And when are they going to lay off the Photoshopping, especially if their skills are sadly lacking?

  3. Mer Says:

    This is laughably bad. KNEE-SLAPPINGLY laughably bad. Time to eat some crow, BBDO Athens.

  4. Zoetica Says:

    I want to say it’s unbelievable but, as demonstrates, this sort of thing happens all the time. Shame!!

  5. Joseph Francis Says:

    You can see how much more pleasant the color of the shadows is in the original, as well. They aren’t just luminosity-dropped photoshop shadows. They have warm bounce fill.

  6. Joseph Francis Says:

    I was in Thailand for a movie shoot. I picked up a Thai magazine in the hotel lobby, and the whole back cover was a reprint of an image I had worked on in New York. (a global corporation using an image beyond its contracted scope)

    I was in a bar in Anaheim for a conference and the menus consisted of bad knock-offs of an image I had done a few years earlier that was in an illustrator’s annual.

  7. Molly Crabapple Says:

    This is why its so important for artists to fight the Shawn Bentley Orphan Works act

  8. Tequila Says:

    @ Molly…indeed. It’s nothing short of insanity what that Act is trying to impose.

  9. Winominx Says:

    I’m am deeply perturbed by the first image, but I am so delighted that you featured Jamie!! She’s a new favourite photog of mine. She is extremely talented.

  10. Jovana Says:

    About the moment when I was 7 and told my dad to go to the video store and rent Aladdin (the Disney one) and he brought home something that looked annoyingly like it but wasn’t it,that’s when I noticed that normal people don’t notice the difference.Partly because they are not educated in that direction,partly because they don’t give a fuck.

    The client is often one such normal person.
    China is making a fortune off it.

    Art is commercialized thus not art anymore.It was art at some point.True art is always underground,the spotlight on art is like a chemical reaction to it,making it not art.To find art one should love enough to do something to find it,like a treasure hunt…i dunno…

    the internet makes it too easy,it’s like people lose respect and just collect more and more and more and more and more……..