resemblances between ryan johnson's 'pedestrian' and new UPS campaign resemblances between ryan johnson's 'pedestrian' and new UPS campaign
aug 31, 2010

resemblances between ryan johnson's 'pedestrian' and new UPS campaign

(left) united parcel service’s promotional outdoor sculpture by ogilvy & mather image courtesy copyranter (right) ‘pedestrian’ by ryan johnson, 2007

to promote the promptness of UPS’s express service, jakarta-based advertising agency ogilvy & mather has created a series of outdoor sculptures which visualize ultrasonic speed in a composite of blurred lines–except that they serve a striking resemblance to the work of young artist ryan johnson.

as seen on fastcodesign, the piece in question is ‘pedestrian’ which johnson completed back in 2007. he has had a prominent presence on the internet and has closed a number of successful solo gallery shows.

click through to read more about the debate here.

(left) another UPS sculpture (right) ryan johnson’s ‘pedestrian’

  • Weel, it’s not a resemblance, it’s a copy, just like that.

    Mauricio Ramírez Orozco says:
  • indeed. the only difference is the ups guy carries a box. how creative, oglivy & mather. shame on u ^^ says:
  • I noticed the similarities the first time I saw the UPS campaign. It’s practically a carbon copy of Ryan Johnson’s work! One can only hope that Ryan was involved in this campaign (and simply wasn’t credited). But if that’s not the case then shame on Ogilvy & Mather for stealing an artist’s brilliant idea for their own profit.

    [url=] Martin [/url] says:
  • Well, i’m not really surprised, given that ad agencies ALWAYS copy stuff (at least here in brazil)… well not only ad agencies, but TV channels, furniture companies, etc…

    Hmmm.. so pretty much there’s too many copying stuff out there, i guess

    John says:
  • they both resemble to this (k. varotsos, 1988):,-9.50,57.6

    v says:
  • I think the start is here Kostas Varotsos “The Runner” 😉

    mrmagenta says:
  • you can clearly see which one was produced by an artist and which one was produced by a corporation

    qarly says:
  • ups, not cool.

    qarly says:
  • it’s totally a copy from “Dromeas” by Kostas Varotsos, in Hilton square..

    natalia says:
  • Out of subject i know, still i can’t leave unmentioned how terrible all three “sculptures” are. Most of all “Dromeas” which i have to endure every day going to work…

    Vassilis says:
  • It’s not the agency — agency suits don’t pay attention to the art world. It’s the creative people, notably the designer or art director, who should know better and should be instantly fired. Didn’t even try to alter the idea.

    Tom P says:
  • I think that as advertising, it is very creative. It’s obviously an homage to the art world, and they just introduced a static object to suit the needs of their client. I think it’s great. for everyone.

    matt mills says:
  • Great? With no credit given to the individual that created it and all of the attention and benefit going to the corporation?

    rcvs1 says:
  • Wouldn’t it be nice if the artist sold licensing rights to UPS for a big payday!

    Jim says:
  • The advertising world often pulls ideas from the art world….and vice versa. Nothing new.
    One can’t claim ownership of an idea. Only a specific image or work so UPS is in the clear.
    Maybe Ryan Johnson’s next work should incorporate a UPS box. Perhaps immersed in a tank of piss.

    Alf says:
  • UPS once had a beautiful & timeless logo designed by Paul Rand. In recent years they ‘updated’ it to the clumsy & charmess piece of crap they use now.

    That says all one needs to know about UPS corporate.

    Willie Wonka says:
  • Creativity is based on something seen and rematched them in a unique way. i think this is witly copied. Anyway an ad person job is not restricted to create something that never exist before, but something that communicates well.

    how many public have seen the work of Ryan Johnson before?

    PS: i think they should give credit to Ryan on this.
    PPS: speed is not a USP for delivery anymore though…is this a scam ad

    kanegi yasaro says:
  • We think of new and original concepts in our ad agency. Shame not everyone else can.

    Embarrassingly shameful for Ogilvy.

    Matty W says:

    serene says:
  • These sculptures are based on “The Runner” (O Dromeas) created 1988 by Greek sculptor Kostas Varotsos – of course the medium is different in each case – in the case of Varotsos the medium used is glass.

    Marietta says:
  • ups always suched!

    m b says:

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