Apple’s new Intel-based Macs are shipping, and with it, the company has started a new
television promotional campaign to advertise the systems. The ad has caught the attention of indie rockers The Postal Service for their similarity to the band’s video for its song Such Great Heights , which, ironically, is
available for sale from the iTunes Music Store.
Apple’s advertisement for its new line of Intel Macs features technicians in a “clean room” facility overseeing the manufacturing of CPUs — a theme also present in the Such Great Heights video. The composition and elements used in both ads are similar — in fact, the ad and music video were both created by the same filmmakers.
A side project of Death Cab for Cutie front man Ben Gibbard and Dntel’s Jimmy Tamborello, The Postal Service produces synth-pop songs evocative of 1980s new wave. The band released a full-length LP in 2003 entitled “Give Up,” which featured the single Such Great Heights —. The song has since been licensed for a movie soundtrack and used in television shows and advertisements.
Ben Gibbard has posted a statement regarding the controversy
on the band’s Web site.
“It has recently come to our attention that Apple Computers’ new television commercial for the Intel chip features a shot-for-shot recreation of our video for ‘Such Great Heights’ made by the same filmmakers responsible for the original,” said Gibbard. “We did not approve this commercialization and are extremely disappointed with both parties that this was executed without our consultation or consent.”
This is the second time in recent months that Apple has been accused of imitating existing work a bit too closely for its advertising. Late in 2005 Apple introduced television ads to promote Eminem’s music on the iTunes Music Store. The spots featured a silhouetted Eminem singing against a starkly detailed urban landscape colored in orange and white.
It was noted that
the ads were very similar to a campaign developed in 2001 for Lugz Footwear. Lugz thought so too — enough to provoke Lugz a cease and desist letter following the ad’s airing.
An Apple spokesperson was unavailable for comment as Macworld posted this article.