Adfreak And Adrants Take A Bow

We opted to pass on the big advertising story du jour, wherein Apple copies an old Lugz ad. Hey, we can’t cover every single story. Anyway, Adfreak and Adrants were obviously wiser in their editorial decision making, as they’re choice to cover the story is now a story in and of itself, in The Gray Lady no less.

The New York Times: A dispute over the uniqueness of a popular new commercial for the Apple iPod is again raising the issue of what constitutes originality in advertising.
The commercial, featuring the rap artist Eminem, is the most recent in a two-year-old campaign from Apple Computer that uses silhouettes of singers and iPod users to promote the iPod digital jukebox and the iTunes service. From Times Square to Turkey, the Apple commercial has been sending eyebrows skyward among writers and readers of Web logs devoted to advertising.
In the last week, the bloggers have posted scores of comments describing and decrying what they have deemed to be far too many similarities between the Apple commercial, created by the longtime Apple agency, TBWA/Chiat/Day, and a spot produced three years ago by another agency, which was selling the Lugz brand of boots.
The comments last week on the blogs, including and, prompted the senior executive of the agency that created the Lugz spot, Avrett Free Ginsberg, to write Apple and TBWA/Chiat/Day, questioning what he called the “many similarities” between the commercials.
In a statement late yesterday, its first since the debate began a week ago, TBWA/Chiat/Day said any resemblance between the commercials was “disappointing and surprising” as well as “regrettable.”

Avoiding the “controversy” for a moment, I’d say Eminem and Apple have an effective ad here, and the pr storm isn’t going to tarnish their respective brands in the public eye. TBWA/Chiat/Day’s image takes a hit inside the industry, but they’ll rebound. The creative team responsible? That’s another story.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.