Brown Bag Films – Copying again?

Via YouThoughtWeWouldntNotice:

A few months ago, someone spotted that Brown Bag Film’s “Bears” Lotto campaign looked suspiciously like Matt Everitt’s Ricky Gervais Bears. The thread on has some interesting discussion, including a couple of posts by Matt Everitt himself, saying

I was told about this and after watching the ad (and falling off my chair) and emailed Brown Bag who of course denied that they would ever do such a thing and said that they could’nt see any similarities.

What can I do?
Not a lot.

Brown Bag Films defended their position by suggesting that Bears3 are “obscure” and hadn’t been broadcast.

How similar are they? You can make up your own mind

Matt Everitt’s Bears3


Brown Bag’s Lotto Ad


Now we have a similar situation. The new Argus Car Hire advert from Brown Bag Films looks suspiciously like the terrific opening title sequence from Steven Spielberg’s “Catch Me If You Can”. Hardly something they can claim as “obscure”.

Can you see any similarities?

Argus Car Hire advert

Opening credits of Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me if You Can


9 thoughts on “Brown Bag Films – Copying again?

  1. Joanne says:

    Wow, the audacity of those guys, trying to defend thieving the bears idea.

    I think maybe someone should send an email to Dreamworks, i’m sure they’d have no hesitation in indulging in some legal smackdown with these clowns.

  2. bobby digital says:

    actually, both ‘brown bag’ and ‘dreamworks’ are ripping off Saul Bass’s title sequences from the 50’s.

  3. John Kelly says:

    This highlights the difference between “ripping off” and “taking inspiration from”.

    Dreamworks don’t seem to be ripping off Saul Bass as much as they’re using some of the design trends of the fifties and sixties (which Saul Bass popularized). If they were to be accused of ripping off anything, it might be the titles of The Pink Panther, but even then, they’re lifting the ‘tone’ more than the visual style.

  4. Pete says:

    Yeah, it’s clear that the Catch Me titles are a homage to the whole 60’s Saul Bass thing, the film is set in the 60’s and they would have wanted that graphic title sequence to get you in that mind set. I don’t know why you’d want to associate it with car hire though, and in any case there are so many elements in those adverts lifted straight out of the Catch Me titles that it’s beyound a joke.

  5. bobby digital says:

    point taken. what’s the exchange rate between ‘ripping off’ and ‘lifting the tone’ nowadays?

  6. Matt says:

    Without Saul Bass neither would have been made.

    …but without the ‘Catch Me..’ titles the adverts wouldn’t have been made. Someone has studied those titles and taken color palettes, character shapes, design elements, animation styles and thrown them into the mixer to produce something that while superficially similar, actually lacks the wit and polish.

  7. Mattymatt says:

    I wasn’t really sure that the car commercials were stealing from the intro sequence … until I saw the “woman in the pool” bit. Nearly identical — color palette, movement, body shape. It’s at 2:33 in the Argus countdown, and 1:33 in the Cach Me countdown.

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