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Filmmaker says Motorola may have plagiarized Super Bowl ad

updated 05:15 pm EST, Sat February 12, 2011

TV commercials said to match indy-film concept

Los Angeles-based independent filmmaker Mike Sarrow has questioned the originality of Motorola's anti-Apple ads that were recently aired during the Super Bowl. The company's 'Empower the People' ad is said to feature the same concept as Sarrow's "Do Not Disconnect" short film, which also focuses on drone-like people attached to their white bearbuds.

Interestingly, both videos conclude with a male and female character removing their Apple-style earbuds to overcome their dazed mindsets. Otherwise, the content of each video appears to follow a similar theme but with different situations and filming angles.

"We're really disappointed that Motorola and the Anomaly New York ad agency have made their Super Bowl ad 'Empower the People' with an identical concept," Sarrow told CNET in an interview.

by MacNN Staff



  1. rvhernandez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Don't see it...

    I don't see a connection. To say that two people remove earbuds and stare at each other? And that's plagiarism?

  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not very alike

    Mike Sparrow seems to be trying to ride on the success of the Motorola ad. The two films are about as alike as two boy-means-girl-in-a-park films. And the Motorola ad's much better. Sparrow's drags out the earbud theme far too long.


    Joined: Dec 1969


    Oh Come on now!

    Similar concept? I don't see anything that leads me to that conclusion. Maybe I am not artistic enough.

  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The whole

    The whole concept was lifted from that obnoxious Sansa site that Sandisk did (Also why I don't buy Sandisk products anymore.) People have been calling each other sheep for years, and lately the idea of presenting iPod owners as sheep has been very popular despite the fact that all it is is a good device for people to enjoy their music.

  1. facebook_Frank

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2011


    Did Ridley Scott have anything to say?

    I suspect no -- at least not publicly. Reason: you cannot copyright an idea or a concept -- only the unique idea of that idea or concept.

  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It's not really the same idea.

    Nice little movie, though - definitely more inspired, interesting and creative than the Motorola ad, which is typical corporate-style advertising.

  1. facebook_Justin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Feb 2011


    comment title

    I can see why there upset, to make some innovative ad then have a pile of s*** company rip it off to try to attack a good company and sell some pile of s*** iPad rip off, I hope you sue that piece of s*** Motorola and win.

  1. tonewheel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No surprise...

    Whether or not is is an actual ripoff, it's something that's done every day in the wonderful and craptastic world of advertising. Unoriginal, boring commercials from creative directors in major agencies pushing their own personal desires into client-paid-for campaigns. Not cool, not clever, not anymore.

  1. darkelf

    Joined: Dec 1969


    good artists borrow

    great artists steal

  1. Eriamjh

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I don't see a resemblance.

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