Diary: Adland shows that great minds think all too alike

We all know the ad industry is incestuous but a couple of recent campaigns suggest that agency creatives really have been spending a bit too much time together. So much time, in fact, that their ads are starting to look a wee bit similar.

Exhibit A: Saatchi & Saatchi's work for Comet, and M&C Saatchi's campaign for Curry's. Released within a few weeks of each other, both campaigns are set in a bizarre world of electrical goods. Comet's world has iron-, washing machine- and stereo-shaped buildings lining its streets, while Curry's version has, uh ... iron-, washing machine- and stereo-shaped buildings lining its streets.

Exhibit B: StrawberryFrog's new Heineken ad. Have its creatives not been watching TV over the summer? If they had, then surely they would have noticed a certain Carling "street football" spot, which bears an uncanny resemblance to their street football ad.

Then there's DDB London's Gene Kelly spot for Volkswagen, and Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R's Virgin trains extravaganza.

To be fair, these ideas are sufficiently different to escape with credibility intact, but there can be no doubt that VW stole Virgin's thunder when it got its manipulation of classic black-and-white footage out first.

So has the industry run out of new ideas? Will agencies start resurrecting old straplines? (Er, have you read Campaign lately? - Ed).


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