A sullen teen appears detached from a family get-together. For the teen, the cellphone becomes a vehicle for withdrawing from real-life interactions, which troubles other family members.
That initial assessment is upended, however, when the ad exposes what the teen is really doing: recording the events for posterity and sharing the work with everyone else in the clan. It seems the youngster did enjoy the experience after all.
That’s the plot of an ad from Universal Orlando this month. However, the rough outline mimics the creative concept behind Apple’s “Misunderstood” holiday ad. YouTube commenters have noticed the similarity and are accusing Universal of ripping off the idea.
“People, please watch Apple’s Misunderstood TV ad, then watch this. Universal stole the ad. Shameless,” wrote commenter Francisco Salvador Velazquez.
“Wow. Same exact thing as the Apple Christmas commercial. Not like that’s a bad thing. I just thought Universal would be more original than that,” wrote another, acquaz10.
The criticism extended to Twitter as well.
— Parcorama (@parcorama) January 22, 2014
So did Universal rip off Apple? Not so fast. Tom Schroder, a Universal rep, says the company tested the concept for the spot in July and shot the ad in October — two months before Apple’s ad premiered. “The idea of a teen spending time on a cell phone is not original he says…We’re happy to be in such good company.”
Do you think the ads are a little too similar? Watch Apple’s ad and then Universal’s, below: