Where portfolio students talk.

Friday, March 9, 2007

On the Issue of Borrowed Interest

The use of borrowed interest in advertising is a tricky, subjective line that ad students often try and stay very far away from. That being said, we've been taught at Brainco, that any of the rules or guidlines can be broken, if they're done in a different, "shit-my-pants" way.

So when is borrowed interest simply borrowed interest for the sake of it, and when can it be legitamtley creative element to an execution? Above I've posted two examples. On top, Miami Ad School grad Samantha Barsky uses a shot from a Christina Agguleria video to show the converse of Lego's. On bottom, Wojtek Stachowicz uses Charles Manson for Lego.

In your opinion, are these legal, or illegal? Do one of these work? Ensue discussion.


mplsminx said...

The first execution would have worked better without Christina Aguilera, just because it's so borrowed interest. Using the same shot with the heads cropped out, or with Legos being built from the top and the bottom would have been just as effective without seeming like a cheap attention-grab. And let's not even get into using serial killers in ads.

That being said, see, I don't know what the legality issues would be with using either of these public personalities. I'm sure you'd have to get a photographer's release, but does using someone's image mean that they're endorsing it? Or, rather, do they have to sign off on it? I assume that one owns the rights to their face. Sheesh. For someone who works with lawyers every day, I know surprisingly little about advertising law.

americanmidwestsamurai said...

By legal, I meant figurtivley. As in good.

Brock Johnson said...

Indeed, a tricky issue. If you're relying on the borrowed interest to do the heavy lifting, I would say don't do it. but if its just a reference, then it "can be" ok.

Concerning the ads at the top. If the ad works without the borrowed interest, do without it. so, why not just throw any sexy little bitch up there. In my opinion, you don't need aguilera for the ad. Although Im glad they did. Put it in the spank bank buddy!

The second one is more difficult to not use. I think it works. While I didn't shit my pants, I liked it. Its a funny reference and specific to the line as well. Just putting any weirdo would dilute the message.

Anonymous said...

I like the idea that lego's "protect" your kids or keep them safe. I agree with what's been said about the Christina ad could easily be replaced if you wanted to take a non-borrowed interest approach. For the killer ad the image isn't needed. I think it would look cleaner as a headline. "On his 7th birthday, so-and-so received a knife". Just a thought. Good luck with it!