A new advert for smartphone manufacturer HTC has been making the rounds lately. It’s a beautifully realized mini-narrative starring a pair of dexterous fingers as they walk, climb and skate through several lushly detailed miniature scenes.
I was pretty excited about sharing it with you, gentle readers, until I was shown this 2001 Cornelius music video from the amazingly talented Koichiro Tsujikawa:
I’ve rambled here on Motionographer plenty about the complexities of simultaneous invention and the dangers of over-applying the term “rip-off.” Usually, the accusation is delivered in black-and-white when the truth is a mottled mess of gray, especially when one’s perspective is enlarged to include the entire history of design and art—which, given a dash of cyncism, could be read as one long series of “rip-offs” following another.
A cursory search on YouTube turned up another finger-walking ad that contains a Billy Jean sequence with a lighted floor strongly reminiscent of the Saturday Night Fever sequence in the HTC advert.
I asked agency 180Amsterdam if Koichiro Tsujikawa’s video was an inspiration, but I haven’t heard back yet. His name isn’t mentioned anywhere in the press release or credits, despite many striking similarities. (There’s even a skating sequence.) I promise to relay anything I hear from them to you.