Russian Flaming Billboard Today’s Ad Ripoff?

By Erik Oster Comment

flaming billboard

It’s been awhile since we reported on a potential ad ripoff, but this one got our attention.

A restaurant in Yekaterinburg, Russia decided to promote their flame-broiled steaks with a flaming billboard. The technique is strikingly similar to a 2011 Deutsch NY campaign promoting Outback Steakhouse’s wood-fire grill cooking platform in which, “three long, brown cylinders running along the front of the billboard—symbolizing a grill—[were] ignited.” The new campaign certainly shares a lot in common with Deutsch’s work for Outback, although that campaign was significantly more badass, ending with “The flames [consuming] the billboard and the grill [falling] off, landing on a car, [resulting] in an explosion.”

It would be a much more clear case if the billboard in question were in the US, but the distant location suggests that it’s at least possible that the similarities are a mere coincidence. Did the Yekaterinburg restaurant rip off Deutsch’s campaign? We’ve provided footage of the Outback billboard below for comparison. Let us know what you think in the comments section.