Tag Archives: Meg Pickard

Good to see Grey London continue the fine tradition of originality in ads

Update: In what I’d describe as “a result”,¬†Grey London’s MD has been in touch with Meg – see her blog for details!

Advertising. It’s all about creativity, originality, possibly bean bags, yeah?

So let’s compare this image, taken by my chum Meg Pickard in 2006, to this scene from Grey London‘s new ad for Horlicks:

Grey Holicks ad
Oh dear.

Sure, everyone creative takes inspiration from other people’s work. I know I do, all the time. But Grey could have taken the idea of a book in front of a face and done something interesting and creative with it. Instead, they did a shot-perfect copy of the entire thing, even down to the on-a-train location.

And yes, it’s only a single, tiny scene in the ad. But given that the shot is pretty much the only one in the entire thing which has any spark or originality (ha!) about it, it’s the one thing that lifts the ad above yet another mundane “lots of shots of kettles from odd angles” 30 second clip. It’s slap-bang in the middle of the ad, which means it’s the conceit around which the whole thing turns.

Pinching ideas isn’t a bad thing per-se. But if the only truly original element in your work is a shot-perfect recreation of something you found on Flickr, you ought to take a serious look at yourself and consider a career which doesn’t depend on creativity.

UPDATE: Meg’s response is on her blog.

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