BBDO Has No Reason to Apologize For Its Carnival Super Bowl Ad But Maybe Creationists Should Take A Chill Pill

There's not too many months that go by in the advertising business without some mini scandal brewing over whether or not some agency copied some person's work, Accusations range from blatant rip off to "well that was kinda like..." 

During the Super Bowl, you probably saw that Carnival ad  -- which you didn't really know was a Carnival ad until the end -- that consisted of gorgeous shots of the ocean with a voiceover provided by President Kennedy. You may not have seen a very similar video  created by Keaton Abbot, a Portland-based filmmaker who is a director at Linden Collection. Both are quite similar. This isn't up for debate.

When he saw the Carnival ad air during the Super Bowl, Keating was pretty surprised. He said, "I was pretty shocked initially. I'm still kind of shocked. My phone blew up before the commercial was even over."

And while he says he lost interest in the game after seeing the Carnival ad, he doesn't really hold anything against the brand or BBDO. In fact, he said, "We must be doing something right. if we're coming up with ideas similar to an ad running during the Super Bowl."

For its part, BBDO Atlanta has clarified that the timeline of its production for the Carnival spot makes moot any accusations of plagiarism. Abbott finished his video at the end of October and posted it to Vimeo November 8. BBDO Atlanta says filming for the Carnival spot was completed three weeks prior to Abbott's video appearing on Vimeo.

All well and good. But really, is there any controversy here at all? I mean think about it. Given Kennedy's words and the imagery they conjure, is it any surprise what Keating and BBDO ended up with? No. The words practically created the spot on their own. Similarities? Yes. Plagiarism? Not a chance.

But that wasn't the only slice of controversy surrounding the ad. Creationist Ken Ham is up in arms over the ad and said Carnival was "blatantly using evolution" in their advertising. In a blog post, he wrote: "Except for the fact that it’s a spiritual issue because of our sin, it’s mind-boggling to think that intelligent people can actually believe life (and the whole universe) came about by accident! Ludicrous!"

Hmm. Science, evolution and Darwinism be damned! 

But let's not forget the fact that it wasn't Carnival that first said the sea is a place "from whence we came." President Kennedy said it. Over 50 years ago. So don't get mad at Carnival, Mr. Ham. Get mad at President Kennedy.

Predictably, the whole thing sparked a waterfall of outrage from religious types on Twitter.

Oh and THIS JUST IN! A spoof of the Carnival ad that likens a Carnival cruise to a floating prison filled with thousands of other doomed souls with exposed, sunburned flesh we can't unsee



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