Saturday, October 20, 2007

George Carlin Writing Copy for Lufthansa

A current radio ad for Lufthansa's non-stop service from Orlando to Frankfurt opens with these lines:

"Ever wonder why we drive on parkways and park on driveways? Why is it that when you transport something by car, it’s called a shipment, but when you transport something by ship, it’s called cargo?"

I suppose the copywriter just finished reading an old George Carlin anthology of jokes and figured no one would recognize the blatant plagiarism?

I can't even remember how they transitioned from those thoughts into describing the great deals now available from Florida to Europe. I was too astounded to listen after the first few words.

As Scamp has been pointing out, nothing is original anymore. George Parker would say it's all deviously protected under the guise of "homage." Either way, it's lazy and lame.

"You know that history repeats itself....what you just done so has somebody else."

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  • George Carlin would probably come up with a line observing the integration of “copy” in the title of copywriter.

    By Blogger HighJive, at October 21, 2007 at 11:52 AM  

  • Well, since I always go against the grain...

    “A good artist borrows, a great artist steals.” - Pablo Picasso

    By Blogger Joshua Shaner, at October 22, 2007 at 3:04 PM  

  • Those of us flying in the admosphere will notice plagiarism when the sources are photographers, designers, artists etc.
    But you can't go pinching things from ground level, where the little people live. They'll notice, and they won't like it.
    Start the revolution.

    By Blogger FishNChimps, at October 23, 2007 at 12:20 PM  

  • joshua,

    Might argue the following:

    We’re not artists.

    Stealing has always been rampant in our biz, and there’s a growing backlash against it—even at the silly awards shows.

    Did you know Picasso is greatly disliked by minorities (just like Elvis) because they recognize he essentially visited some foreign communities and ripped off the art forms?

    Borrowed interest, while often frowned upon in our business, is not necessarily a bad thing, provided it’s relevant to the message.

    By Blogger HighJive, at October 23, 2007 at 3:53 PM  

  • Highjive,

    You are correct. Whatever improves the bottom line, ethically.

    But, I would argue copywriters are, in fact, artists. You just paint with a pen and not with a brush!

    By Blogger Joshua Shaner, at October 23, 2007 at 4:37 PM  

  • It’s probably a matter of semantics, but I’ve always reserved the term artist for, well, artists. It’s not to say that people in our business aren’t stars (although I realize a lot of people take offense to the notion of rock stars in advertising). But we’re paid to perform a certain service that, while highly creative and requiring breakthrough thinking and execution, is ultimately selling a box of laundry detergent (or fill in the product you’re dealing with). It’s polite for you to contrast us to an artist, but there are few copywriters I’ve known who are capable of writing a classic novel or poem. If they could, believe me, that’s what they’d be doing.

    By Blogger HighJive, at October 23, 2007 at 9:25 PM  

  • Damn, HJ. That makes me want to get back to writing my classic novel.

    By Blogger Jetpacks, at October 23, 2007 at 10:09 PM  

  • I am an artist. Dammit. Profanity is my medium. Bile is my thinner. And your blog, Jetpacks, is my canvas.

    Thank you. So fucking much.

    By Blogger James-H, at October 23, 2007 at 11:03 PM  

  • "Cargo goes by ship. Shipment goes by truck. We drive on a parkway and park in a driveway. We have a pair of pants, but just one bra..."


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 26, 2007 at 7:53 AM  

  • So, Gallagher was a thief, too?

    By Blogger Jetpacks, at October 26, 2007 at 8:04 AM  

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