media »
homage or fromage?
(innblástur eða stuldur?)

As some of you may know Sigur rós have spent the decade since they were thrust into the spotlight saying 'no' to their music being used in advertising. Yes, they've done movies, TV and given music to charity "synchs" (as it is called when you "synchronise" music to picture), but despite rumours to the contrary they have never allowed their music to be used to sell anything. And they get asked A Lot. Sometimes they get asked, say 'no' and then a few months later an ad will suddenly appear that sounds strangely familiar.

Here's a typical exchange from Aug 2008:

Hi xxxx,

Hope you're well.

I know that Sigur rós aren't generally up for having tracks used in advertising, but we're currently working on an ad that I didn't want to dismiss without first running it past you. It's a commercial for Audi's Quattro system (please see the attached script). Audi's advertising is generally considered to be amongst the best car advertising and the script looks like it could be quite good.

Please let me know what you think. If you have any questions please give me a call.

thanks,
xxxx

You politely decline, and then in Oct 2008 you start to see posts on the Adtunes forum like this:

We're not suggesting anyone's ripping anyone off here, or has purposely gone out to plagiarise Sigur rós music, because that might get us sued (which would be ironic). And in any case, you can get all the musicologists' reports you like and all they will tell you is that the chord sequence is "commonly used" or the structure is a "style-a-like" and not a "pass off"rós. Or - in this case - that despite the fact that the two pieces are "strongly similar in terms of general musical style, instrumentation and structure" and "created with a knowledge of and/or reference to the works of Sigur rós in general and 'Hoppipolla' in particular", there is "insufficient evidence in the music to support a claim for infringement of the copyright". In other words change a note here, swap things around a bit there and, hey presto, it's an original composition. Inspiration moves in mysterious ways.

What we wanted to do here was post series of ads that have made us go 'hmmm' and let you decide who's zooming who? But quite often when you go back and look for them you find the ads in question have disappeared off the radar (come in Coca Cola Mexico, New Zealand Lotto, Telmex Chile, etc). Anyway, here's a few expensively produced, gorgeously executed examples of brands who you might feel are inserting a little too much fromage in their homage.

Enjoy and let us know of any more that you spot around the world, since we'd like to make this a regularly updated feature - and, of course, provide the advertisers with a chance to get a few more "eyeballs" on their "product".

[update: we've posted a follow up to this blog post here.]

olsen olsen


hoppípolla


hoppípolla


hoppípolla


svefn-g-englar


hoppípolla


hoppípolla


svefn-g-englar


hoppípolla


fljótavík


sé lest


sæglópur


hoppípolla


sæglópur


hoppípolla


hoppípolla


hoppípolla


svefn-g-englar


hoppípolla


hoppípolla


hoppípolla (taco bell)

(our first visual/thematic based "homage")

go do (by jónsi)

go do (by jónsi)


hoppípolla


hoppípolla