It has been said that talent borrows and genius steals. Sure, we are all in this industry to give our wild ideas a chance to escape the realm of only our imagination and ideally see the light of day. But what normally happens when we do is that half-a-dozen other agency people you work with have the same plan, so they scoff at yours and push for theirs. Something of the collective gets the go-ahead before being completely moderated and thinned by the client into what they believe acceptable for their brand and – Bob’s your uncle – campaign’s done. All in a days work really.
I digress. The point is, as stated in Ecclesiastes 1:19, there is nothing new under the sun. No. I am not a Bible punching Nazi. I am committed to the cohort ilk of my fellow industry creatives and am equally inquisitive as to how they feel about statements like these.
Are we all done and simply here to help things evolve again and again and again and again? To say there is no such thing as a new idea is a fairly bold statement to make and many would like to argue, but is it worth it?
It has been said that these Greenpeace executions by Ogilvy, Johannesburg may be an evolution of something done by Colenso BBDO, Auckland, New Zealand for SPCA. So what? Is it a blatant rip-off? No. Is it effective? Yes. It’s a smart, hard-working campaign that addresses a very different issue to that of the SPCA with a slightly similar execution. I see no problem. Have a closer look. Read the copy. Decide for yourself.
I am not advocating the stealing of work. But perhaps we all need to be a little kinder to one another and celebrate the collective genius proffered by our industry. After all, there is no bigger compliment than imitation.
© Dylan Balkind