Diary: Matalan copycat catwalk ad lacks original thinking

This is not just a set of copycat models prancing around to Louie Louie. This is Matalan's downmarket answer to Twiggy, Erin O'Connor & Co in last autumn's classy and successful Marks & Spencer ad.

Now we here at Diary know that the last truly original idea was conceived on 20 April 1974, and everything after that date is just a copy of a copy of a copy.

However, in that time most of us have found ways to at least attempt to marginally hide the fact that sometimes it is required to borrow an idea or two.

But this is definitely a skill that has passed by the team in Matalan's in-house creative department.

Its latest work for Matalan's autumn range is so close to the M&S ad of last year that anybody watching with cataracts or sight problems would have difficulty telling them apart. Even the song is reminiscent of ELO's Mr Blue Sky, used in the M&S spot.

However, the ad does have a particularly cheap feel to it, which is very much how the shop is positioned, so maybe that is the point of the commercial.

If the company is trying to position itself as a downmarket M&S, then this execution is actually a stroke of genius and should be a major contender for next year's IPA Effectiveness Award.

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