Oh, boy. It seems the Ford Motor Company has accidentally used developer Campo Santo’s artwork from their game, Firewatch, in a recent summer ad campaign.
In the email ad, which was sent to Panic Inc., co-producers of Firewatch, a prominent piece of art from Campo Santo artist Olly Moss was used as the backdrop, with little to no changes made. The ad came from a local Ford dealership called Quirk Ford from Quincy, Massachusetts. It is obvious that the picture used to create the flier is directly from Firewatch, as you can see below.
Either this was a total mistake from a marketing person at Quirk who doesn’t completely understand copyright or Ford just does not care anymore. GameInformer got word from Quirk, who said that they got the image from this wallpaper website. Campo Santo’s Sean Vanaman told GameInformer via Twitter that this is a load of bull.
Polygon’s Nick Robinson also pointed out on Twitter that a recent Ford TV ad also features Firewatch-esque art, although this time it is not actually from Campo Santo’s archives. But still, it seems that Ford has chosen a certain aesthetic for their summer campaign and it just so happens to have a very, very similar color palate to the game.
— Nick Robinson (@Babylonian) June 27, 2016
If there is anything to be learned from this, I guess it is that you should always double check when you are grabbing artwork off the internet and that the people at Ford are real big Olly Moss fans. And for more on the scandalous world of advertising, stick to Hardcore Gamer.