‘Gog’, is regarded as one of the most groundbreaking and influential commercials of the 2000s, and received more awards from the television and advertising industries than any commercial in history. Its success was blighted, however, by persistent accusations of plagiarism by Peter Fischli and David Weiss, the creators of The Way Things Go (1987).
In May 2003, Fischli and Weiss threatened legal action against Honda. The artists felt that the ad’s creators had “obviously seen” their film, and should have consulted them. Fischli and Weiss had refused several requests to use the film for commercial purposes, though Honda claimed that this was irrelevant as their permission was not needed to create new works with some elements similar to their previous works. Honda’s advertising firm Wieden+Kennedy eventually admitted to copying a sequence of weighted tires rolling uphill. The controversy was blamed for denying ‘Cog’ a Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.