July 23, 2008

Angry Trampolines

A few months ago Matt came back from Bug 05 raving about a few films he had seen. One of which was the brilliantly simple, visually stunning and richly detailed zZz Grip . The brief: Shoot a live sequence to open a short film festival in Holland Nederclips – One take, no special effects, loads of hidden conceits/ jokes and a great soundtrack …Inspirational stuff indeed.

Until this . Shame on you Fiat, your agency and all those who agreed this would be a good idea! Apart from totally missing the elegance and subtlety of the original, it is yet another case of advertising underestimating viral influence and the proliferation of digital content.

I am not naïve enough to think the advertising has never ‘borrowed from’ the ‘art’ of others, and at times I am even prepared to stick up for the advertiser – Guinness Eskimo, Honda Cog and Sony Bravia Balls are all great examples of that. But when someone thinks they’ve seen something that they can just regurgitate to a ‘broadcast audience’ on the assumption that the latter hasn’t seen the original, it smacks of utter laziness and worse, contempt.

I appreciate that Fiat and their agency must have got permission from the original filmmakers, so hopefully no-one’s been ripped off here and no-one’s got hurt. But it’s a great shame when you see something that you thought was exceptional being degraded and one would have thought by now advertisers would know that the truth will out immediately.

It’s an even bigger shame when the offending brand is actually making exceptional products – the gorgeous Fiat 500 and Fiat Punto (Europe’s best selling car) – and still can’t think of a single original thing to say about them.