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New online ad
13.03.08 by Buffalo Bill

As part of a commendable push to increase driver awareness of cyclists, TfL have released this ad. For those of you that can’t be bothered to watch it, it’s a film which asks you to count the number of times a ball is thrown, but then turns out to be a wild-life programme. Or something. I wasn’t paying attention.

Seriously, the slogan is: it’s easy to miss something you’re not looking out for. This refers to cyclists. The ad is obviously aimed at drivers.

And guess what? It turns out that the oh, so clever ad is a rip-off. According to Carlton Reid over at bikebiz (required reading for serious students of cycling, by the way), it’s really the work of a Professor at the University of Illinois. Shamelessly plagiarised by WCRS for the TfL campaign.

It’s this kind of invention and ingenuity that has made British advertising the envy of the world.

  1. if I saw a moon walking bear i’d probably hit it and take out the ball at the same time.
    I am such a klutz

    yogi    13 March 2008, 08:51    #
  2. All I saw was the bear, I have no idea how many passes the white team made. What does that mean?

    — westcoastmess    13 March 2008, 10:28    #
  3. Hmmm. very clever, it really shocked me, no doubt the creatives are slapping each others backs, the agency which produced the ad is keenly working away on the stats of how it’s changed public opinion, so that they can sell more stuff like that, but can someone tell me how this relates to motorists hitting cyclists?….after watching it I just thought about dancing bears and basketball…it won’t change anyones behaviour…money wasted.

    winston    13 March 2008, 11:12    #
  4. “All I saw was the bear, I have no idea how many passes the white team made. What does that mean?”

    That you can’t follow simple instruction?????

    — deadpet    13 March 2008, 11:56    #
  5. Nobody saw the cycle-courier stealing the bears handbag?

    — overdrive    13 March 2008, 12:29    #
  6. It means I don’t blindly follow orders. FTW!

    — westcoastmess    13 March 2008, 15:26    #
  7. utter toss…

    is this some media studies student project or a real advert?

    — slipstream    13 March 2008, 22:00    #
  8. it’s awesome. end of.

    — sleepy    13 March 2008, 22:48    #
  9. It’s this kind of awareness training that give the coppers such acute visual powers when dishing out on-the-spot fines to cyclists. Any upstanding citizen knows this is a good thing.

    — BringMeMyFix    14 March 2008, 12:00    #
  10. like sleepy, i think it’s pretty good.

    since it is aimed at precisely those motorists that don’t take an active stance of consideration towards cyclists, it seems logical to try to capture their attention in another way.

    i think that had they used the cycling theme more obviously from the beginning, they most likely would have been preaching to the converted: as in, those segments of society (motorists, peds & cyclists) who already care about the safety of cyclists and are aware of, and interested in, cycling related issues.

    this way they can potentially attract a wider range of people through the medium of humour.

    having said that though, the plagiarism aspect is not cool at all. :/

    — lurkette    15 March 2008, 19:03    #
  11. According to the Carlton Reid article this episode of plagiarism has led to advertising professionals “Debating ethics”. Maybe they should video the conversation and see if their ethics are any easier to spot than a dancing bear.

    — will    15 March 2008, 21:28    #
  12. Didn’t an Irish ad-agency working for Guinness completely rip-off someone who came in for an interview’s show reel?…copied his ideas but didn’t give him the job…now that’s Creative.

    winston    16 March 2008, 11:42    #
  13. Leave the bears alone.

    — Goldilocks    24 March 2008, 02:48    #
  14. A few ads on at the moment are rip-offs from internet phenomenons. Like the dancing cats for the milkshake stuff and the drumming cook using some sauce.. “creative” agencies my arse.

    hippy    6 April 2008, 22:56    #
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