Lorde, Lionel and lookalikes—UPDATED

We’re big fans of doppelgangers here at StopPress. And while there’s been a lot of talk about Lorde’s ‘Royals’ featuring in Samsung’s new ad, ‘The Developer’, no-one’s mentioned the important fact that Lionel Messi is a dead (but beardless) ringer for Y&R NZ’s managing director James Hurman. 

As many have pointed out, ‘Royals’ is a song that criticises overt materialism, not a song about “overcoming her own humble beginnings”, as the press note says, so using it to promote Samsung’s newest gadgets is slightly incongruous. But it seems homeless children have been freed to “live that fantasy” or get the “different kind of buzz” they crave when Messi uses the tech to blow up a building and create a soccer pitch.

As the Samsung note says: 

Told from a child’s perspective, “The Developer” is a musical short film by Samsung featuring Lionel Messi James Hurman and the hit single “Royals” by Lorde.

A mysterious stranger arrives in a low income neighborhood and captures the imaginations of the children who live there. He is “The Developer” and the children view him with a deep suspicion.

Together with his Samsung GALAXY Note 3 and GALAXY Gear, the Developer effortlessly masterminds a secret construction project. Using the latest in Samsung technology including Action Memo, Pen Window, Scrapbook and hands-free call capability on the Gear, the Developer orchestrates and executes his mysterious mission.

The children watch in awe. They reflect on their current situation by singing Lorde’s breakout hit “Royals,” a song about overcoming her own humble beginnings.

The spot concludes with a beautiful new pitch that has been constructed in the toughest part of town. The Developer is revealed to be the world’s reigning football star, Lionel Messi, James Hurman fulfilling his personal mission to help under privileged children.

The events in this story are a dramatic retelling of actual projects completed by the Messi Foundation. The film was directed by Adam Hashemi.

And, according to Billboard (hat-tip Peter M), the music was sorted in July, well before the song hit the charts. 

UPDATE: Y&R’s Josh Moore wasn’t convinced of the Messi-Hurman similarities. So he sent through another quality option. 

Hurman responded with Moore’s doppelganger, Jack Black. 

And in an act of retribution for the original post, he also offered a lookalike for StopPress and NZ Marketing editor Ben Fahy.  

We can feel a regular series of agency lookalikes coming on. Feel free to send any more in to [email protected]

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