Friday, November 10, 2006

Fallon Are So Busted

But if you really think about it, does it mean we should lower our opinion of 'Balls'? It's the same ad as it was before.

And after all, it's not the first great ad 'borrowed' from another source - Hamlet 'Photo Booth', Honda 'Cog' and Guinness 'Dancing Man' are just the first three that come to mind.

For me, the debate about whether it's right or wrong to borrow is not the right debate. Everyone borrows - Shakespeare ripped off the Greeks, and Picasso was 'inspired' by African art.

In my opinion, the debate should be solely about whether it works. The point of advertising is to sell product. If you borrow something that people know well, it won't feel fresh, so it won't appeal, and won't sell.

But if you borrow something that people don't know about, or change and adapt what you're borrowing so that it's presented in an unfamiliar way, then it will feel fresh, and it will sell.


copyranter said...

good work, scampy.

RFB said...

Excellent find.

True, the ad is no less beautiful, but it would've been nice had someone from Fallon just said, "I saw this on Letterman a few years back and thought it would look great in slow motion with a bunch of different camera angles."

Anonymous said...

i'm not sure how original this idea is. reed college in oregon has been doing this as a tradition performed every year on the street in front of the college. it's like saying someone owns the idea bobbing for apples.

Anonymous said...

Yes, excellent find! I agree with the idea that giving someone else's idea a new lease of life by using to sell something is, arguably, OK.
But I do think it's cheeky if these ads win creative awards - that's just not right.

Anonymous said...

right on scampy, to further your point, isn't the the Sony Bravia a TV[Flat Panel Technology] touting benefits like much better color and clarity - for you to see things, like tv shows... like Letterman - better. So it would almost seem appropriate that they would want to take something that was seen before and show it better - how it would in fact look on this tv [LCD].

Anonymous said...

I was literally just listening to the Beau Brummels' "Just A Little" when I came across this video. Sure enough the accompanying music is Dave's band playing the same song! I'm more freaked out about that coincidence than the similarities between his bit and the ad. I also saw my own death in a dream last night. Should I be worried?

Anonymous said...

at least it wasn't another ad. Ads borrow from pop-culture all the tie, that's basically 99% of what ads do.

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit over it now but when I first discovered the "rip-off" back in July, here was my less than subtle reaction

Anyway, you are right of course, lots of great ads do borrow from or were inspired by popular culture. And naturally the purpose of an ad is to sell and if people have seen the source blah blah blah....

Anyway, it's still disappointing. (not outrageous or anything)

Perhaps I'm naive in expecting people who are paid to come up with ideas to actually do so.

Incidentally, there is a similar conversation going on right now on the New Zealand Creative Circle blog

David Wen said...

This is why ideas can't be copyrighted. At least that's my impression under the US Creative Copyright System.

Or can they?

Anonymous said...

david - I think it's not a question of copyright as much as what's blatantly obvious.

As for Fallon, this isn’t the first time. Their recent Travelers spot homaged/ripped off/paid tribute/whatever a spot for AIDS awareness by an agency in Belgium Duval-Guillaume found here.

The Travelers spot can be found here.

Paying 'homage' in this case merely hijacks the important message of the AIDS spot. That's too bad.

Anonymous said...

I do believe it all goes back to cheese rolling in Gloucestershire

Anonymous said...

Good find.

Anonymous said...

How many people does David Letterman employ? A hundred? How long has everybody been silent about this hi-jack?
It simply doesn't smell right, I feel there's something odd going on.
Perhaps I'm over sensitive to this sort of thing. Ball is a fab commercial. I thought the recent 'illegal' Tiger Woods-video during the Buick Enclava shoot was real! And it wasn't. Good PR stint it was...

Anonymous said...

Hey,give em a break. I've been throwing all kinds of things (MOSTLY superballs in fact) down the hill my house sits atop since I was a little kid. Letterman must have ripped the idea off of me and my friends as we launched buckets of superballs, smoke bombs, and tennis balls stuffed with firecrackers for years on end.
There must be some unwritten law that if you give someone a superball on top of hill, the odds of them tossing it down must increase by like a billion.
Maybe they "copied" it, I don't know, but it wasn't done as a gag and was relevant to the product in how they filmed and edited it, rather than in the idea itself.
I mean, if you want to take any basic premise you can find a hundred ways other people "copied" it, but their approach was completely original. No credit is due anywhere.

Anonymous said...

"I mean, if you want to take any basic premise you can find a hundred ways other people "copied" it, but their approach was completely original."

Was it though? No offense, one ad? Maybe. But when you see it again with that AIDS spot copied for Travelers almost executionally and sequentially the same? That’s going too far even in the loosest of definitions.

I could see that the idea of rolling people down the hill seemed cool, but the original spot was for AIDS relief of all things. Seems like some kinda bad ad karma’s gonna get them.

All I can say is at least copy something else.

Anonymous said...

"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources" - Albert Einstein

Clever chap.

Anonymous said...

Jetpacks is right.
As creatives, our job is to keep our eyes peeled for stuff in life that's funny, clever or memorable in some way.
Everyone has rolled something down a hill for a laugh at some point so I thought 'what a nice bit of insight, beautifully executed'. The thing is, it looks like it was even the same exact location as the Letterman gag, so it's a straight copy as far as I'm concerned. Which somehow leaves a bad taste in your mouth when you find out, because nobody owned up.
Same thing happened at GGT in the 80s with the Holsten Pils, Griff Rhys-Jones series. It was a rip of a little-known movie called 'Dead Men Don't Wear Black' or something. But they kinda made out like they came up with the idea of stripping him into famous old movies. Sad, really. When they were 'outed' there were letters in Campaign saying they should hand the awards back.