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Apple/Lugz ad dispute: Theft or Coincidence

updated 02:00 pm EDT, Tue October 25, 2005

Apple/Lugz dispute

A new article in the New York Times recaps the latest developments in the dispute over the uniqueness of Apple's . Apple and its advertising agency have been accused of copying a similar commercial for Lugz footwear commercial. In a statement late yesterday, its first since the debate began a week ago, TBWA/Chiat/Day said any resemblance between the commercials was "disappointing and surprising" as well as "regrettable." Larry Schwartz, executive vice president and principal at Lugz in New York, said in an interview, "We're very upset [...] The look and feel are awfully similar." Frank Ginsberg, whose company was involved in creating the Lugz ad said, "It's the same commercial. I don't get it."

by MacNN Staff




  1. bighead

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Similarities? Sure...

    I can see similarities between the two ads. However, one ad is selling footwear, the other is selling a digital music player.

    After Apple's Switcher campaign was in full-force, how many testimonials with white background, candid-looking subjects, and simple music tracks showed up pitching any number of products? I see them to this day and think to myself that Apple spawned a whole new generation of the age-old testimonial strategy.

    It seems to me that copying Apple is a sign of good taste, but Apple continuing development of someone else's idea is a sign of weakness and lack of originality.

  1. purpleshorts

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Multi-purpose commercial

    It shows how ridiculous advertising is. I mean, if you could insert an iPod for a shoe, what does the ad really say about either?

    It's an opportunity: this is the first Multi-purpose commercial. You get an orange urban cityscape, hip hop music, and then just insert your catfood, or lingerie, or toothpicks... whatever you're selling... and it works! Tight ad budget? No particular message? Have we got an ad for you! Would you like that in Orange, or Purple?

  1. DeathMan

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What is more obvious?

    Is it more obvious that Apple would continue to a 2 colored background from a one color background, and keep the silhouette they've been using for years? Or that Lugz came up with this novel new idea to use silhouetted figures running around on a colored landscape?

    If anything, Lugz copied Apple and put their twist on it, and Chiat/Day put a twist on their own idea, and is getting hammered for it.

    Of course its an ubran landscape, its an Emminem flavored ad. What color would you use for an urban landscape, if you still wanted something brilliant. Something warm, hmmm, red? maybe more industrial, orange? brilliant!!!

  1. mugwump

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Sheesh, the Lugz spot is great. That to me is the urban take.

    Clearly the iPod ad is influenced by it, but so what's the big deal. The people involved with the Lugz ad are getting greater exposure because of it.

    But I really like the Lugz ad, especially that middle dude who's poppin' away on the street!

  1. zl9600

    Joined: Dec 1969


    remember the chihuahua?

    the talking taco bell dog was created by chiat day years ago... and chiat day got sued for stealing the idea from someone. and guess what, chiat day lost (the court found they did in fact steal the idea). i'm just sayin...

    BUT i don't think that apple is stealing from lugz here--i think apple likely spawned the lugz look. we all see imagery and are influenced in one way or another. that goes for music, literature, food, you name it.

    awesome is right: lugz gets great exposure. apple may look like they were influenced by not apple, but what's currently cool. (anyone seen the honda civic ad?). last go around, apple's agency clearly hit it out of the park and did something truly original.

    this time, they just went with a look that has already been done. big deal, because so is lugz. street looking graffiti art with monotone backgrounds combining live action with 2d animation has been done before lugz. oh wait, that was apple's first campaign.

  1. zl9600

    Joined: Dec 1969



    i typed 'apple may look like they were influenced by not apple...', i meant 'apple may look like they were influenced by not LUGZ...'

    a bad sentence anyway. sorry :)

  1. brinj

    Joined: Dec 1969


    pantone may have a hand

    Pantone color pallettes are likely the culprit here. Panotone sets the color pallettes for fashion, advertising and decor several seasons in advance internationally. It's more surprising that we haven't seen many more ads in a yellow to orange "Urban Chic" Pallette.

  1. haveaduff2

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not the same

    The Lugz spot hasn't been seen in three years. Apple's spot is relatively new. Yes, they are similar in color and theme...but so what? Lugz should take the extra publicity and have fun. There are too many people out there with way too much time on their hands.

  1. darkelf

    Joined: Dec 1969


    but the lugz ad...

    is scratched, yo.

  1. leonpro

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Isn't that what they're


    "The Lugz spot hasn't been seen in three years. Apple's spot is relatively new. Yes, they are similar in color and theme...but so what? Lugz should take the extra publicity and have fun. There are too many people out there with way too much time on their hands."

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