I am just on the cusp of old enough to remember Max Headroom, the spokesperson for the failed (but well-advertised) New Coke. He also made a cameo in one of the Back to the Future movies and, since I watched those with my brother maybe 15,000 times in the Eighties alone, I got familiar with him.
He was pretty cool, what with his computer generated (!) image and electronically sa-sa-sampled voice.
He is still cool, come to think of it.
I am not the only one who thinks so…I checked out the website of New York agency Hanft Raboy and they clearly have an affinity for him as well. Their intro animation is nothing less than a re-cast Max Headroom, complete with the same voice and static-y, cutting out visual style.
I like their work for Match.com and don’t have a beef with their agency, but I just can’t decide about their into animation. Whether to like it or hate it.
On the one hand, Max Headroom is funny, kitschy and pretty interesting. On the other hand, agencies are supposed to be around originality and they totally ripped off the idea of the first thing that people coming to their website see. One the other hand (apparently I have three hands), if you take a post-modern view of things nothing is original and they are repurposing a good idea in a new way to do something different so it’s acceptable and even cool. On the other hand (now four hands), it’s awfully close to Max Headroom, so close that a blogger is commenting on it.
The verdict: cheap rip-off of an Eighties idea that makes them seem kitschy and unserious.