Bill Bernbach agreed, “In communications, familiarity breeds apathy”
So while I agree that distinctiveness is vital (the Trifecta of Ogilvy, Bernbach and Law cannot be disputed), it is not necessarily that case that total originality is required, simply rather that the majority of the people you are exposing the work to consider it to be different enough to warrant attention.a recombinant age, but as pedants the world over write, was it ever thus. John Webster was well know for taking inspiration from situations in the street, other art work or references in culture. Who cares? William Shakespeare nicked all sorts of things including the whole idea of a number of his stories, as well as passages, characters from the classics and contemporaries. They used to have a name for it, it was called the renaissance. It is worthwile noting that there has never been a successful court case for plagiarism in advertising in the UK, and that is because, contrary to popular belief, copyright does NOT extend to ideas. Copyright applies to a tangible work, not to the idea behind it, so if you use a similar idea, but execute it in a different way (ie. Not a direct remake), no copyright infringement exists.
The point is not that there is nothing original any more, it is that whether it is completely original or not is not important.. The important question is whether the majority of the target audience will consider it to be a novel stimulus, if they do, it is original enough, and we should then content ourselves with evaluating is the work itself effective at its stated aim. Stat.