“Hmmm…I feel like I’ve seen this ad before”

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If you come across a lot of creative, over time certain things you see or hear will trigger a sense of déja vu. Like in those memory-games you played as a kid where you’d try to find matching pairs, something pops in your memory that says “hold on a second…I’ve seen this before!”

Now, this notion is nothing new in advertising or in any art form, because inspiration and ideas always come from somewhere.

But it’s also obvious to a careful observer that not all of these “déja vus” can be classified into one single bucket: they range from crazy coincidences, to straight-up creative plagiarism. If we don’t make this distinction, it’s impossible to have a constructive conversation about what is right and what is wrong. Because believe me, there are grey areas like you wouldn’t believe! Continue reading

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