Purina and Deep Focus borrow Rube Goldberg’s idea – by way of W+K and Honda

A Rube Goldberg machine (named after an American cartoonist and inventor) is an ‘over-engineered contraption that performs a simple task in a complex fashion.’ Pretty pointless (if amusing) but they sure work for advertisers and ad agencies.

Here’s a new offering for Pepsico’s Purina Beneful dog food by trendy NYC digital agency Deep Focus.

Nearly two million YouTube hits in a week.

And here’s Honda’s celebrated ‘Cog’ ad from Wieden+Kennedy London from a few years back.

This one’s had over five million hits stretching back nearly a decade.

Are Pepsico and Deep Focus borrowing W+K’s idea?

To a degree perhaps – but old Rube Goldberg (1883-1970) got there first.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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