The Evolution Will Be Plagiarized

Well, it won’t really be plagiarized, but we’ll feel like we’ve seen it all before. As good design finds many imitators, the evolution of good design will continue.  And it will be copied.  In a way, it has to as the feeling of familiarity is often essential to grabbing people’s attention.

As the 10th anniversary of the iconic iPod silhouette ads on colorful backgrounds has just passed a couple of weeks ago, Smart Car Brazil is either providing the strongest form of flattery for that campaign or just flat-out abducting the iPod campaign.  It starts on their site with the music iconography and silhouette of a woman dancing that harkens to the earliest part of that essential iPod campaign and then takes it a step further in their print campaign equating Evolution with Smart cars.

Created by Conexãu in Rio de Janeiro, the ads are concise, attention grabbing and funny with the tag line of “Evolution Always Compacts”.  Instead of dancing silhouettes on a bright background, the silhouettes feature larger pre-historic animals and their present-time relatives.  Here’s a few samples:

They are iconic and definitely breed familiarity. In the least, they are providing one of the best forms of flattery.

Are the ads effective?  Depending on placement, Yes.

Is the agency plagiarizing in an unethical or “dastardly” way? Probably not.

We have seen it time and time again in all things creative that success breeds emulation in the least. It really comes down to how you use it.  In this case, Smart and Conexâo seemed to have used it well. 

The rest is evolution…


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