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Apple, The King of Orginal Design, Looks...Um...Like a Copycat In Its New Ad.

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October 19, 2005

Apple, The King of Orginal Design, Looks...Um...Like a Copycat In Its New Ad.

David Kiley

The very week that Apple chief Steve Jobs is plastered on the cover of Time Magazine with a "What's Next" sign, a melee has been stirred up in ad land over a new ad featuring rapper/rehabber Eminem from the innovative company that looks an awful lot like a well regarded Lugz boots ad from a few years ago. Thanks to Adfreak for pointing it out. The Eminem ad can be viewed online here.

The orange, yellow and black splotchy silhouette ad an evolution of the black and white silhouette ads that helped put iPod on the map. The ads, created and produced by TBWA/Chiat Day, took two years to hone, according to Jobs at a recent press conference. The colors in the ad come from splotches of paint that at the end drip down the “canvas” that says “iPod + iTunes.”

Whoops! As Adfreak noted: "The similarities between the Eminem/Apple spot and the Lugz spot are striking—nay, stunning—and worth taking a second to check out." A screen grab of the Lugz ad can be seen at Adfreak.

12:19 PM

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When something is well done, it is called an homage. When it isn't, it's called a ripoff. I think it's pretty clear that the quality of the Apple ad is superior to, and evolutionary from the excellent Lugz ad, so I think I'll call it an homage.

Posted by: KenC at October 19, 2005 06:54 PM

Yes, the Apple ad seems, shall we say, 'inspired' by the Lugz ad.

Of course, the Lugz ad seems, shall we say, 'inspired' by the original iPod ads.

Apple started the whole silhouette-lifestyle ad thing, and now they can't evolve it without running into somebody somewhere who already ripped them off and happening to evolve it in a similar direction. I wonder how many other silhouette-lifestyle ads there are out there of different colours and styles since the original iPod campaign? Is Apple now boxed in by their own imitators? Isn't that kind of like guaranteed death for any successful ad campaign through marketing piranhism?

This is the way it goes. There is no amount of moral outrage that you can muster about it that would not already apply to Lugz's original ad. No one can deny the common origin of all of these types of ads, which is Apple.

Posted by: Dogger at October 19, 2005 07:00 PM

The Lugz spot aired in 2002 way before anyone at Apple thought about a silhouette-lifestyle ad.

Posted by: Rob at October 20, 2005 03:14 PM

"Of course, the Lugz ad seems, shall we say, 'inspired' by the original iPod ads."

"No one can deny the common origin of all of these types of ads, which is Apple."

If you did a little probing you would find that the Lugz work had been produced, ran and won awards prior to "Apple starting the whole silhouette-lifestyle ad thing". The Lugz ad was considered a stylistic breakthrough in the Hip Hop community in 2002. It also won mention in the D&AD awards in early 2003.

And this work was not altogether "created" by Apple - it was done on their behalf by their advertising agency. Sure Apple ultimately signs off on the work that represents their company - but they trust their partner to provide them with the "original" work.

Sure, many innovative ideas are inspired by already developed and produced ideas. Note I said “inspired”. My idea of an “homage” is a bit more blatant - take those lame “got beer” t-shirts that pay homage to that great “got milk” campaign. It's surprising to see this new work from Apple looking so close to that Lugz work – this coming from a company with a heritage of consistently bringing fresh, new, innovative ideas to the table.

In my opinion, the NEW Apple stuff looks almost identical to the OLD Lugz stuff. I will always use, buy, love and support Apple – and I don’t think for a second they would ever blatantly just go out and “rip-off” something – but Apple is way to innovative for me to chalk this similarity up to coincidence, so it makes me wonder who was “inspired” along the way in developing this work.

Posted by: Some Guy at October 21, 2005 03:57 PM

First off, the Lugz ad was created and ran in 2002.

The iPod silo campaign only started in 2003.

AFTER the Lugz campaign.

Second, Psyop has created ads for Chiat Day between

2002 and now (infinity car campaign).

Third, Eminem knows and has hung with Funk Master Flex,

the DJ hiphop personality featured in the Lugz ads.

The Lugz campaign ran (in 2002) in heavy (albiet short)

rotation on MTV, VH1, and BET, as well as a coresponding print campaign that ran in VIBE, SPIN and XXL.

The Lugz ad also won a nomination from D&AD (that's the British Design and Art Direction Awards) in early 2003. One of the most prestigious awards in the advertising community.

As a Creative director in advertising, I have no doubt whatsoever that Chiat Day and Logan flagrantly ripped off the Lugz ad.

This will go down as one of the most embaraasing events in Advertising in the last ten years.

Posted by: moni at October 22, 2005 02:30 PM

If the Lugz ad is from 2001, wouldn't it pre-date the silhouette campaign from Apple? I thought the silhouette campaign started with the iPod minis and their colors. Am I wrong? are the minis that old? 2001?

Posted by: Paul Threatt at October 25, 2005 02:59 PM

Wow! Ken C, you have a career waiting for you in Advertising with that kind of attitude.

You too can make a living off of other people's creativity and justify it by making yours "better" than the original.

Posted by: Pokey at October 25, 2005 06:12 PM

something else from the creators of the lugz spot. hey, A RIPOFF!

Posted by: narc at November 20, 2005 01:14 PM

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