Working in advertising has given me a particular set of skills (watch the movie Taken to get the reference) which has helped me learn to appreciate the creative elements of this industry. This includes design, layout, copy and overall execution of an advertising piece, campaign or marketing tool (such as a website).
Lately, I've been reviewing websites a little differently; not just for content, but for design and layout first and foremost. (And really this is the first thing a surfer notices subconsciously anyway.)
Enter Gibson Guitar Corp. I just reviewed this site and was slightly disappointed. Gibson is an iconic brand in the music industry and beyond. One would assume that such an iconic, unique brand would have a website that is not only hard-hitting and edgy, but different. Upon reviewing Gibson's site, I noticed the entire design and navigation looks strangely close to Apple's website.
Actually, scratch that. The Gibson website IS EXACTLY like the Apple website. I'm flabbergasted that Gibson and its creative team couldn't manifest enough creative ingenuity to design a website that is unique to what its brand represents and not a complete mirror of one of the most popular websites in the world.
The interesting part of this story is Gibson's older website designs weren't bad. In fact, for their brand, the older design felt more evocative of the Gibson lifestyle - "Rock & Roll." You can view their previous site design HERE. Their new site just looks like, "Apple, now with more guitars!" They've officially un-rocked™ themselves doing this.
Wise creative puppets in this industry say, "If you're going to steal someone's idea, concept or campaign - steal from the best." Well, Gibson followed through.
Maybe they thought nobody would notice.