The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Originality Wanted …

I still remember buying a movie soundtrack only to discover none of the songs had actually featured in the movie.

When I looked at the cover, I saw “songs inspired by the movie” … in other words, the film company couldn’t get the rights to release the actual music, so they got some two-bit band to write some nondescript music supposedly after watching the film.

It wasn’t as bad as those albums where they got a covers band to sing a well known song – rather than the actual artist – but it was close.

The reason I say this is that I’m seeing a bunch of ‘write-ups’ of ads that seem to adopt the same position.

“Inspired by”.



Now there’s nothing really wrong with this … it’s something that’s been done by all manner of industries for centuries … however while there’s a common belief that ‘genius steals’, the counter to this is ‘lazy borrows’.

I know … I know … I’m being deliberately assholey, but the beauty of our industry is when we allow creatives the freedom to create.

To allow their crazy minds to take us all to crazy intriguing places.

But instead … thanks to budgets, timelines, dictatorial research, corporate fear, layers of management – and countless other things – we don’t.

Which is why we see so many pieces of work that are replications of a film, a meme, a song, a TikTok idea … basically a version of an album of popular songs that haven’t been played by any of the original artists.

Our industry is capable of brilliant things.

But we’ve sold creativity down the river in a bid to make things easier for people who don’t even value the power of creativity.

Nothing smacks of madness as much as that.

Meanwhile, culture leads change of behaviour, attitudes and choices through its endless energy to explore and express.

So while being inspired is one thing, duplicating is another and when certain brands expect people to spend hundreds or thousands on their products, it blows my mind they want to under-invest in the way they actually present themselves in their communication.

Oh they won’t see it that way.

They’ll talk about the celebrity they hired to front the campaign.

Or the music they licensed.

But underneath it all, they’ll they’re taking shortcuts.

They’ll kid themselves it’s working with charts on optimisation or efficiencies … but the reality is they’re trying to work out how long they’ve got before it all falls apart, because the difference between leading and chasing is not about spend, it’s about attitude.

Or said another way …

You either make music or you’re just a cover band.

19 Comments so far
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This is a good post (the last line is killer) but will anyone read it with England playing?

Comment by Pete

Hahahaha. Good point. Even I’m having a client breakfast while listening to the game via headphones. I probably am more present and adding greater value than I normally do.

Comment by Rob

The last line of your post is always my favourite.

Comment by John

As insults go John, that’s Euro winning standard.

Comment by Rob


Comment by DH

I’m waiting for Rob to suddenly announce his Italian side if England lose. Which would be the most Italian cliche ever.

Comment by DH

im still waiting for campbell to announce hes a jammy blagging fuck.

Comment by andy@cynic

I here-by announce I am a jammy blagging fuck.

But there’s still room for improvement.

Comment by Rob

Good post. But is there any originality anywhere anymore. Discuss.

Comment by DH

Doesn’t have to. Whoever wins the final he will now claim to be theirs.

Comment by Pete

A certain Danish drummer may have an opinion on that.

Comment by John

hiring campbell in the first place shows those noisy fucks have no taste in the first fucking place.

Comment by andy@cynic

dave cant even write his response under the right fucking comment. twat.

Comment by andy@cynic

Bloody Dave. Hahaha.

Comment by Rob

Doesn’t have to. Whoever wins the final he will now claim to be theirs.

Comment by Rob

What a wonderful post Rob. And such an excellent analogy at the end of the post. But it is hard to write too much as I am still in shock at England’s success.

Comment by Lee Hill

it will all end in fucking tears.

Comment by andy@cynic

Is originality as important in strategy?

Comment by Rich

Yes. At the very least in terms of how you look at the problem or express it. Though that is even in shorter supply than in creative expression, which is why strategy has to shoulder a bunch of the blame for the situation with the creative. At least in my opinion.

Comment by Rob

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