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TPS \'dissappointed\' with Apple\'s Intel Ad

updated 01:20 pm EST, Fri January 20, 2006

TPS on Apple\'s Intel ad

The Postal Service (TPS) this week responded to accusations about Apple's second copycat television spot. Earlier this week, we noted the growing controversy over Apple's recently-released ad featuring the company's involvement with Intel. The spot, which was debuted at Macworld San Francsico and subsequently has aired on national US television, shows "shot-by-shot" similarities with a music video from The Postal Service dubbed "Such Great Heights," according to the band--who expressed disapointment with both Apple and the film makers. "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," wrote Ben Gibbard, a member of The Postal Service."

"We did not approve this commercialization and are extremely disappointed with both parties that this was executed without our consultation or consent."

Apple's revised silhouette ads featuring Eminem caused controversy last year, as it also was apparently a knock-off of a Lugz footwear ad spot that aired a few years ago (Lugz has since sent Apple a cease-and-desist order).

Elite Productions has posted a side-by-side comparison of both Apple's ad spot and The Postal Service's music video, "Such Great Heights." The videos are accompanied by still-photos taken from both sources at various points throughout each, depicting the similarities between the two.

by MacNN Staff





  1. unten44

    Joined: Dec 1969


    TPS video now on iTMS

    The "Such Great Heights" video is now on the home page of the iTMS under "Video Just Added."

  1. ryanjo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    TV ads treated as art?

    Controversy over a copycat TV ad? I don't even remember the Post Office ad. (Really effective, wasn't it?)

    Media types live in their own little world. You'd think someone copied the Mona Lisa...

  1. Mrjinglesusa

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Who Cares?

    The Postal Service video was NOT an ad - it was a MUSIC VIDEO. Apple's video is a COMMERCIAL touting their new Intel-based Macs. Both were made by the same people. I see no problem here. The Postal Service will lose NO MONEY and no one will confuse Apple and their band.

    Bunch of crybabies.

  1. gunnar

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not that similar

    I don't find the two that similar really. The feel is pretty different and besides, if you want to make a commercial showing chips made in a clean room, there's not much variety available to you. Anything shot in there is going to look the same. Are computer companies not allowed to show manufacturing anymore? Sheesh.

  1. Sinemacula

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Free publicity

    Free publicity for the band... I had never even heard of them until this "controversy". The "copycat" ad is good for them -- but if no one had pointed out the similarities, I still wouldn't have heard of them. But instead of whining about it, they should be saying -- "Hey, cool -- you like the ad? Check out the original idea!"

  1. cebritt

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Let me get this straight

    A group that calls itself "The Postal Service" is accusing Apple of being a copy cat? The irony is absolutely palpable. I think the USPS ought to sue them for copyright infringement...

  1. Orbit

    Joined: Dec 1969



    anyone who doesn't see the shot-for-shot similarities here is blind. and where do you people get off criticizing the postal service? if you're under 35 and haven't been living under a rock for the last 3 years, you'll certainly know who they are. they derived their name from the fact that the whole project is a collaboration between ben gibbard and dntel, and the parts were sent back and forth through the mail.

    in fact, the USPS did have an issue with the name, but they ended up reaching an amicable agreement which led to cross-promotion of the band along with USPS services. see? large bureaucracies and indie bands *can* learn to coexist!

  1. Terrin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What is the issue?

    I see no problem here. Let us assume the worst: that someone at Apple saw this music video before making its ad (as opposed to merely Apple's ad company pitching the ad to Apple, without Apple recognizing the similaties between the ad and the music video, which is a much more likely senerio).

    Apple instead of hiring anybody to emulate the ad, instead went to the people who created the music video and said, "could you do something for us we like the music video you did?" The music video people agreed, and produce the following ad. What is wrong with that?

    The band did not create the video. The band probably did the same thing that Apple is accused of doing. They saw the work from the video people, and had them make the video. The video people have a right to make other videos using their style.

    In all likley hood, Apple had very little to do with the creation of this video other then telling the ad company generally what they were trying to sell. The ad company then came up with the idea, not Apple. The ad company did the right thing by going to the actual people who created the ad. They should get credit, not criticism.

  1. Dr.Funkenstein

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Music video

    A music video IS an ad (or used to be).

    Still, Apple has made this heretofore unknown band slightly less unknown, so they should be happy and flattered. (I had prevously heard the song, but had no idea who the band was.)

  1. ronjamin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Bad Publicity.......

    .....Is good publicity. Now I actually know who the "Postal Service" is. Before this little "snafu", they were about as obscure as the belly-button lint on my cat.

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