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Today’s Ad Ripoff: Lowe’s vs. John Lewis

Last week, BBDO NY debuted “Don’t Stop,” a new spot from Lowe’s that follows a woman’s home improvement projects. The rather cinematic and heartwarming spot (which reminds me a little of the intro scene from the movie Up minus the horrible depression that one falls into near the end) introduces the woman in her 20s and marks the passing of time by showing her at various stages in her life, updating her house to reflect her changing needs. Set to a song by New Zealand singer-songwriter Gin Wigmore, the spot’s nonstop dancing keeps gives it a fresh and cheerful vibe, something that Lowe’s TV spots aren’t generally known for.

However, one commenter saw this Lowe’s spot and called ripoff, citing an ad last year done by Adam and Eve for UK department store chain John Lewis.

There’s just something about Billy Joel ballads that turns on the waterworks. Obviously, the two spots have the same basic concept, and wow does the camera work look similar. But, of course, the Lowe’s ad aims for upbeat while John Lewis tries to be a bit more introspective. Also, the Lowe’s spot really pulls off the”morphing” house well, while the John Lewis spot changes environments quite a bit. But, are these differences enough to save the Lowe’s ad from being a ripoff? Or, have we seen this concept done frequently enough in the past that we can’t point fingers?

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