Such Low Heights

In an interesting case of ‘who had the rights,’ it’s been widely reported on the web that Apple’s first video ad campaign promoting the new ‘Intel Inside’ Macs is a blatant rip off of one of my favorite bands music videos. Here is an excellent sie-by-side comparison created on the ‘Cult of Mac’ site.  The Postal Service is one of many side projects of Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard, and their video for ‘Such Great Heights‘ is a frame-by-frame match to the Apple spot, showing bunny-suited lab techs in a clean room, carefully lifting out some precious silicon, etc. It turns out that the same director created both the Apple Intel ad and the Postal Service video. Unclear if he had rights to essentially duplicate a product for a commercial service without the band or label’s blessing, though. Ben chimes in on the controversy with a note on the band’s website saying that “We did not approve this commercialization and are extremely disappointed with both parties.” The band’s label could, conceivably, have approved reuse of the video which one would think they might own.

Long story short – I love the Postal Service, and can’t wait to get my hands on a MacBook Pro (at least when the 12″ is available). But like the controversy over the recent ‘orange’ Eminem iPod ads which bore their own uncanny resemblance to a Lugz campaign, this is fishy. I hope Apple comes out and clears this up soon.

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