Abhinav Krishna calls out FCB Ulka and Google for alleged similarities in Mr India ad; agency responds

Recently, Abhinav Krishna, Ex-Dice Media Creative Director, called out Google and FCB Ulka for making a “near-copy” of one of his animated videos- 'The Worst House Ever Saw' for the latest Mr India Ad on social media. This caught the attention of FCB Group India's Group Chief Strategy Officer, John Thangaraj, who later clarified that such wasn't the case as the ad film was inspired by a scene from the original Mr India movie which was released in 1987

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Abhinav Krishna calls out FCB Ulka and Google for alleged similarities in Mr India ad; agency responds

Click on the Image to view Krishan's LinkedIn post

In the world of social media where accusations are made each day, what has fallen prey to one such instance is the tech giant, Google, and the ad agency behind the recently launched Mr India ad for Google Pixel 8, i.e- FCB Ulka, for an allegedly similar approach and depiction as Abhinav Krishna who is an Ex-Dice Media Creative Director and created an animated video titled- ‘The Worst House Ever Saw’.

To call out the agency and the brand for coming up with a “near copy” of one of his animated videos and not giving him the due credits for the same, Krishna took to X and LinkedIn to post about how the ad created by FCB Ulka is “like watching a frame-by-frame recreation”  of his video.

Click here to view Krishan's LinkedIn post

As per Krishna, his animation reel, which is a true story-based video rooted in his first house-hunting experience in Mumbai, came out in June 2023.

Sharing the storyline of his animated real, he mentioned, “I go to see an apartment because the broker has listed it as a ‘sea-view’ apartment. After he showed me around the house, I couldn’t find the sea view anywhere. So he takes me to the edge of the balcony. I strain my eyes as I sceptically look on and the broker gives me a pair of binoculars. Then I see it. Then beyond a few hundred buildings, somewhere far on the horizon, I finally spot the sea.”

Drawing a line of comparison between the animated reel and the recently launched The Rental ad for Google Pixel 8, starring Anil Kapoor in his legendary Mr India role, he stated, “Mr. India is showing a “sea-view” house to a woman. When she arrives, she can’t see the sea view anywhere. So he pulls out his phone and zooms in a bit. The woman then strains her eyes as she is sceptical of what he is saying and Mr India zooms in again. Then beyond the buildings, really far away there is a sea view.”

Google Pixel 8’s ad film-

Post this, he also alleged that even when the notion that two ideas can be similar is taken into consideration, watching the Google ad is like “watching a frame-by-frame recreation” of his work as the story flows “exactly the same way” as his and the shot composition and storyboard are also very similar.

“Even the expression the character makes as she tries to find the sea is the exact same! It doesn’t stop there. The final reveal, the final zoom-in to show the sea is done the same way,” he mentioned.

A video comparison of the two films-

Taking cognisance of the matter, John Thangaraj, Group Chief Strategy Officer, FCB Group India, responded to the accusation and clarified that being personally involved in the project, he can vouch that the film conceptualised by FCB Ulka is inspired by a scene from the original Mr India movie which was released in 1987.

“I'm not sure if you've watched the original, but if you have, you'll recall a scene early on in the movie, where Arun (Anil Kapoor's character) is hard selling his room for rent to Seema (Sridevi's character). He does so as follows- ‘Madame, kya kamra hai. Kamra ke aagey balcony. Balcony ke aagey garden. Aur garden ke aagey samundar’. This is what formed the basis of the film you're claiming we copied from you,” he stated.

He also went on to point out that having only seen the screenshots of Krishna’s animated short and not the video itself, he cannot comment on the framing of the two films, but what he can say is that both FCB and Google adhere to the “very highest standard of creative integrity” and if there is at all, even the slightest similarity to Krishna’s work, it is “wholly coincidental”.

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