Smooth FM & Diesel Take Inspiration From The Internet

Quite a few people have been writing about Diesel’s XXX promotion recently (Miranda has the most detailed write-up). The video above, which turns a load of porn films into something that’s (just) about safe to view at work is probably one of the main reasons for that. However what I found interesting about the video is that Diesel actually took the idea from a forum called Something Awful. But rather than hoping that no-one would notice, Diesel were totally open, as Chewie explains:

Instead of just taking all the credit, Diesel actually contacted Something Awful and basically said ‘Hey thanks for the ideas’ on top of that they are paying for each forum member who contributed to have their account upgraded!

This isn’t the only recent example of advertising which has taken its inspiration from internet memes: Smooth FM, the station that used to be known as Jazz FM before it became a crap Magic-clone, currently has a huge poster campaign which shows people obscuring their faces with album sleeves. Sound familiar? That would be because they took the idea from Sleeveface, the very successful internet meme, turned website, turned book (or it will be soon). But, as with Diesel and the Something Awful thread, Smooth FM were totally honest about their inspiration and went to Sleeveface for their help.

So, what does any of this tell us? Well, I think that it tells us a couple of things.

  • Despite what some would have you believe, not everything on the web is shite. Yes there’s a lot of dross, but there’s also a lot of amazingly creative people producing things that they would never have been able to before the advent of the internet
  • There’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from other places, so long as you’re open about it. Whilst I often like to say that “talent imitates, genius steals” that doesn’t mean that you have to be rude about it. Accreditation is cool.
  • People putting album sleeves where their faces should be is funny.
  • So if SFW porn.
  • Errr, that’s it.

Sleeveface image by nickolette22 on flickr

One comment

  1. Hey Ciaran,

    Nice little write up, i feel honoured to be quoted. Also It is such a nice change for big companies to actually give something back to the little guy, and also shows that many people do take inspiration from what they see on the net.

    Although i do check your blog this is my first comment.


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