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The Ad World has had more than our share of “duplicate” ads this year.

The biggie being Ogilvy Paris recycling a Cannes Winning print campaign for the second time; same visual, different client, same award: a shiny Gold Lion.

Yeah, that was a bad one. Everyone in the business did a collective /facepalm and once again vowed to “never again!”

Just like the time before and the time before that.

But sometimes idea theft happens on the consumer level, too; with the boring old commercials that we make for our real clients (as opposed to the phantom clients we use for award shows).

The latest, and one of the most brazen I’ve ever seen is Subaru’s latest TV spot: “Baby Driver”:


Anyone who sees this spot in a vacuum would say that it’s a big idea, well executed.

It’s a great spot.

But those of us who have seen State Farm Insurance’s spot “, which has been running for a couple of years now, have a slightly different opinion on that:


Seriously, WTF?

Was it a coincidence? Or did they know? Or are they just clueless?

Whichever it is, I find it hard to believe that nobody on the agency or client team had never seen the State Farm spot…because it’s gotten a LOT of rotation in the last year-or-so.

Call me crazy, but I think that watching at least a little bit of TV should be required for anybody who writes TV spots for a living. And a little bit of competitive research should be required for any big agency before diving into campaign planning.

What a shame.

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Sloppy Seconds

Okay. So we’ve been assaulted by AT&T’s “Verizon Sucks” ads for a few weeks now:

Obviously, AT&T had to do something. Verizon’s “Maps” campaign (cue Yeah Yeah Yeahs) was the marketing equivalent of a bitch slapping. But what AT&T didn’t have to do was get an out-of-shape B+List actor to slap back.

Don’t get me wrong. I like Luke Wilson. I like his movies. In fact, I think I’d like to grab a beer with him and shoot the shit. But I’m not sure he’s the best choice to be a spokesperson. At this time. For this brand.

I’ll say what everyone else is thinking:

Luke Wilson AT&T

Seriously Luke, WTF?

He’s… doughy!

More seriously BBDO, WTFF?

I’m not one of those people who follows celebrities, indulging in their romantic escapades, and secretly reading Star on the shitter. And I don’t care who’s fat and who isn’t. In fact, I think we put too much pressure on movie stars, models and musicians to be super-skinny. I think it’s unrealistic and ultimately counterproductive for society.

That said, when a pudgy Luke Wilson first graced my screen a few weeks back, my first thought was “Oops!”

To put it kindly, it looks like either Luke really needs money, or AT&T doesn’t have a working sense of spokesperson quality control.

He just looks tired. Or maybe even hungover. But for both parties, this is a campaign FAIL.

Not that the commercials themselves are bad. They’re at least as good as the Verizon spots… on paper.

Execution? Not so much. And this is just another instance of just how important good casting is in the making of a good commercial.

Oh, and for the record: Yes, I have an iPhone. And no, I don’t hate AT&T.

I just hate this campaign.

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