Simulating creativity

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

 

Barbie is a serial killer

You can’t say this characterisation of camp-Ken is entirely original; Toy Story 3 had his socially ambivalent, nonchalant, self-centredness down to a tee! An astute depiction mind you while stating what we all already knew anyway… wink wink. No matter, it is tempting to see how GREENPEACE have appropriated that character to showcase their plight and leverage awareness for the destruction of the Rain Forests by giant toy manufacturer, Mattel.

More so than just the actual packaging needed, this viral video attempts to highlight the knock-on effect that the disappearance of these forests means, and how mankind will ultimately sacrifice the endangered clouded leopard, Sumatran tigers and Orangutans… though the list is long.

The power of viral is interesting because the PR-spin ultimately does one side of the camp a favour, while creating a horrible headache for the other. It has been reported that the Barbie page on Facebook closed its comments section to their 2 257 662 fans. Seems the audience that loves the plastic blonde is the same as the one that loves the thought of pirdy tigers living unharmed; a tricky conversation to negotiate when they see a clip like this one and start airing their concerns and questions online. It is exactly this element of transparency that organisations can leverage through social networks like Facebook – however in this case, more like run from.

No doubt, Mattel will create their own viral about how Barbie cares and what she is doing to minimise her carbon footprint.

Barbie-schmarbie. There is no appropriate retort Mattel.

Clean up after yourself! End of story.

 

© Copywriter Dylan Balkind

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