Man in a Bear Suit Could Use Some Hugs, Too

European PSA is moving, but is it a rip-off?

This European PSA from Jung von Matt shows a guy in a bear suit receiving hugs and affection from folks in a crowded thoroughfare. At the end, he's revealed to be disabled and walks away with his real face showing, notably isolated from others, bear head in his hands. "Do we need to disguise ourselves to get closer?" the spot asks. Commenters have generally praised the ad, though I agree with dissenters who say it takes too long to get to the payoff. That lessens the impact of the final moments and makes the spot feel a tad too calculated and contrived. Even so, there's no denying its power. Some have called the ad a copycat, though, noting a 2009 HIV awareness spot (see below) that also features a guy in a bear suit on a bustling street. That ad's twist is so jarring, you might just jump in your seat. It's a troubling reveal that makes the spot more visceral and surreal than the Pro Infirmis clip, though in each case, form and function are in tune. As for allegations of idea theft, the similarities can't be disguised, and it'd be scary if the creative approaches were any closer.