I recently wrote about how several modern car manufacturers, including Smart, have been borrowing from an iconic VW Beetle campaign. Based on the web banner above, that's not the only place that the copywriters on the Smart Car account have been finding inspiration.
The Smart Car folks are also taking a page from 7-Up's classic "uncola" campaign. Want a different kind of soda? Get the uncola. Want a different kind of car? Get the uncar.I will say there's a subtle difference, as the 7-Up campaign used its "un" word as a noun to refer to the product. Smart, on the other hand, uses "uncar" as a made up verb that accompanies other "un" words that allude to consumer benefits.
This approach actually puts more focus on the consumer instead of the product and on actions vs state of being. And research has shown that messages focused on the audience that use action verbs (not passive being verbs) tend to be more effective.
So, the copywriters are certainly borrowing, but at least they're putting their own spin on it. Is it too close for comfort? I'll let you decide.