To have a bit of fun with Microsoft’s plans to put Windows 8 on future tablets, Daring Fireball recently linked to two car ads. The joke was that Windows-powered tablets are going to need some serious power — like the devices in these ads. Microsoft’s aspirations aside, the ads alone tell an amazing story.
When I viewed the ad for Nissan LEAF. I thought, “Wow, what a fantastic concept.”
When I viewed the ad for Renault Z.E.. I thought, “Wow, what a fantastic concept.”
I had identical reactions because, as you can see, they’re identical commercials. Even more astounding, they debuted only days apart. Honestly, I don’t recall ever seeing ads from major companies that are so stunningly similar.
This, of course, made me highly curious. So I turned to my inner Sherlock. I found that many articles have been written about these ads (they debuted back in May). Unfortunately, these articles tell conflicting stories.
Nissan and Renault did enter an official alliance in 1999. Some say it was an “industrial and creative partnership.” Others say no, marketing was never part of the deal. The two companies remain very competitive.
AdAge Global reported that “so far, neither automaker’s global agency is accusing the other of stealing its idea.” Stuart Smith says there is “fury” in TBWA\Chiat\Day LA (handling Nissan) and Publicis Conseil in Paris (handling Renault), as charges of plagiarism fly about.
However, there’s one good reason why neither side has turned this into an international incident. That would be the ad for the Mitsubishi i-Miev, which was actually created well before Nissan’s or Renault’s ad.
And all I have to say is, “Wow, what a fantastic concept.”