Shop Lifting - or “how we steal shit from pop culture to make our pitches relevant.”

/ Comments (11)

As an agency creative, I’m always amazed at our propensity for ripping off (aka “drawing inspiration from”) pop culture and now, social media trends. It seems that’s a huge part of what we do - “You’ve heard of the Amazing Race, yeah? Well imagine we do the whole thing in a Ford Escape and make it an online series? Do you hear that? It’s the sound of China running out of Ford Escapes BECAUSE I JUST SOLD THEM ALL WITH THAT IDEA. See you at the bar.” It seems a huge part of what we do is take what’s out there, juggle it and serve it up in our pitches and client presentations like lukewarm leftovers.

Now I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, for us to stay relevant we gotta use what’s out there. I’ve told a Creative Director more than once “Picture a hand-made Gondry puppet stage but with bananas” or “It’s OK GO, except with four thighmasters.” So I’m not above it, we all do it. Pinterest, flash mobs, 8-bit graphics, hipsters, TED, everything is fair game in the art of appropriation. This ongoing article series hopes to pinpoint what’s next in pop-culture-trend-stealing. Or in other words, you’ve pitched Zach Galifianakis 400 times, what can you take next?

I’ve seen this pop up a few times over the last week, it even has a catchy title, AdBombing - the act of putting drop down or pop-up menus on existing outdoor advertising or signage.

It recently came to light on the one-sheet for the piss-poor Adam “I Should Have Stopped At Happy Gilmore” Sandler flick That’s My Boy. The graphics stem from the brain of NY underground and subway artist Jilly Ballistic.

“The product you are looking for is currently under maintenance due to a lack of quality.” Delicious Coors Light? I doubt it, Ms. Ballistic. The Silver Bullet is ALWAYS operational.

Aside from “nom nom nom” I love the Facebook comment “BAHAHA”. I give this one three BAHAHA’s.

Adbombing seems a bit limited, and you may or may not have to contact Jilly Ballistic’s lawyers for rights usage, but leave it to a fresh Miami Ad School grad coming to a conference room near you to weave it into a presentation.

By the way is it too late to do something with planking? It is, isn’t it? Dammit.


Paul Sincoff is a freelance copywriter in the San Francisco area and the creator of The Ad Agency In My Mind.


What ever happened to the Interactive MeMe? It's poppyTALK, talk show material for the comedy, syndicate, design or talent judge, and debate in media. These Outdoor Stills introduce interactive image and interface. Next, 'Blue Steel' Still, we have these basic online stills in moving motion gorilla video. I prefer dailymotion over YouTube...!

Uh...That's not why I freeze up stiff in public...?!

I have a great Idea for a new campaign, why don't you create an ironically bad poster mashup, lets mix starwars with madmen and then we can put a windows error message on top with a QR code. then we shoot a jaded hipster with fake glasses standing in front of it with some olden timey font on an olden timey banner ribbon on top. It would be a great way to sell waterboarding! media for you!

That's impossible Malcom.

agreed impossible

I think EGO should seriously consider shutting off comments, I come here to see the features and get EGO's p.o.v. The rest is chatter

I prefer people prank calling my cellular(with a code #) when they are not heckeling me on here, in public, at home, and on local media!

Comments are what makes Ego's blog juicier. It's nice to park and get to chatter sometimes amidst this busy world.

This Sincoff guy should be a creative director if he isn't already.


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Link = <a href="">This is your text</a>
  • Image = <img src="http://imageurl.jpg" />
  • Bold = <strong>Your Text</strong>
  • Italic = <em>Your Text</em>
Rocket Fuel