McDonald’s Appears to Plagiarize Cyriak Video With 37 Million Views

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  • British artist Cyriak Harris is one of the most popular animators on the internet. Like stop motion director PES, his videos combine playfulness with surrealism in a trademark style that’s instantly recognizable. The videos on his YouTube channel have amassed a staggering 170 million views — and that’s not even counting the millions more from illegal reuploads, GIFs, and rips on other social networking sites.

    That’s what makes the decision of Juan Solo, a small, Buenos Aires-based animation studio working for McDonald’s in South America, to apparently blatantly copy one of his videos for a commercial so curious. The original commercial has since been taken down, but a clip of it has been preserved on Harris’s Twitter page and can be seen above.

    For comparison, here’s the complete original video from Harris, which is his most popular and has been viewed over 37 million times:

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  • It’s hard to know what on earth McDonald’s and Juan Solo were thinking when they used such a popular video as “inspiration” for a commercial. The Independent reports that Leandro Pedrouzo, listed on Juan Solo’s website as a “3D generalist and animator” working for the studio, commented on a forum post about the advertisement to acknowledge the “reference” to Harris’s work. Here’s a screenshot of the post from Twitter user moonjam, which Harris later retweeted:

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  • Harris told the Independent, “Plagiarism in the advertising industry is a problem for artists and it should be a problem for advertisers as well, because each of them depend on the other to a certain extent.”

    According to the Independent, a McDonald’s spokesman “said he is aware of the allegations made against the advertising agency and is investigating.”

    What do you think? Did McDonald’s and Juan Solo plagiarize Cyriak, or is it okay to copy a famous animator’s style as long as you don’t copy the actual content? Let us know in the comments below or @WhatsTrending on Twitter!