Another Apple Ad Ripoff?



Update: Duncan Rawlinson at the Last Minute Blog has created a much better comparison screenshot of the two videos, which I’ve nicked and posted above. Duncan has a slightly higher-resolution version on his site. Also, in the comments, it seems some people think I’m referring to similarities in the music, but it’s the visuals that are similar, if not identical. Plus it’s the whole idea: the concept, the setting, the narrative. Compare the corridor tracking shots, the movements of the wafer-making machines, the interaction between the male and female workers. The Apple ad is not just “influenced” by the Postal Service video, it’s a remake.

Apple Intel chip ad

Apple is at it again — making TV ads that bear an uncanny resemblance to other people’s videos.

Apple’s latest TV advert, touting Intel chips inside its new Macs, is remarkably similar to a music video from The Postal Service for the song “Such Great Heights.”

Both are set in clean rooms, and feature bunnysuited workers making eyes at each other.

See for yourself. Here’s the Apple ad, and here’s The Postal Service video (Windows Media download).

Apple is currently being threatened legally by Lugz, which claims an apparently actionable similarity between Apple’s iPod ad featuring Eminem and a 2002 spot for Lugz footwear.

Of course, in the latest case, Apple may have an agreement with The Postal Service or its record company, or may have hired the same director, or licensed the work.


Postal Service, Such Great Heights


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38 responses to “Another Apple Ad Ripoff?”

  1. imarkG5 says:

    infringing on a 3 year old video that nearly nobody has seen anyway? thats pushing it just like the Lugz commercial that was also totally off the radar.

    How are you gona be not similar if you are using chip creators as your focus? Making eyes at each other? you are totally reaching for a reason to even stir something up there. they are handling an expensive plate of processors how are you gona look at someone?

  2. D Cootey says:

    Similar because it involves a man and woman in bunny suits working in a chip facility? Yes. Rip off? No.

    The music video features machines as psuedo sexual euphemisms. Apple’s ad features machines as boring, staid symbols of the old school busting out to be cool.

    Saying Apple’s ad is a rip off is like saying a new movie filmed in the same park of as an older movie is a rip off.

    The Lugz ad situation is a controversy with greater teeth. I would be surprised if the Eminem ad producers weren’t influenced on some level by the old Lugz commercial. I suppose the same could be said of Apple’s new ad, but inspiration is one thing, plagiarism is another.




  3. Stuart says:

    Ahh, I wasn’t the only one to notice that then. I posted the same thing yesterday

  4. Stuart says:

    Alternative place to see the video:

    I bought the Postal Service album after seeing that video on mtv2 late one night and as soon as I saw the new intel/apple add I thought how uncanny. I think it’s more a homage than a rip off.

  5. flash says:

    That is Keifer Sutherland’s voice on the ad, right?

  6. T.D. Shadow says:

    My first impression of the ad was that it was a remake of the first ad for the Pentuim II to use the “bunny suit”.

    The beginning and middle are the same, but instead of ending on someone dancing to “Play That Funky Music”, it ends with a handoff and the setting free of the chip to go live inside a Mac.

    I had almost forgotton the Postal Service video, but it too reminded me of the PII ad.

    I guess all chip fab plants look the same.

  7. Davinder says:

    Yes it sure sounds like Keifer Sutherland. The man of 24 is back!

  8. CG5Addict says:

    Oh, MY, God…… could there be more of a waste of webspace then this article??

    Are we reaching or what??? Are we looking for a high hit count today??

    2 people in bunny suits who look at each other? That is the rip-off??

    Give me a break!!

  9. Merko Hidalgo says:

    Does anybody know who the director of the apple clip is? Maybe Apple just used unused stock footage from that same guy?

  10. Vincent Lee says:

    Yes… I do believe that Apple must have gotten permission to use at least some of the idea, since much of the footage itself is really similar (ie machines).

    (Of courrse, it could also not be meant to even keep semblence to the Music Video, but it comes out that way)

  11. Vincent Lee says:

    Also, if you have time, watch this. It’s the G5 PowerMac introduction video, and contains similar footage, so I am guessing that, possibly shots like these are somewhat usual for processor production facilities. eh.

  12. chick who wish she went into f says:

    This was intentional. There is no ‘rip-off’ . Bought and paid for. There is a reason so many psychology students go into marketing. No Xander and Josh did not make any money on this anymore than I do if someone buys my company code; I work for the company. Just a little more cash in pocket for Partizan. I find nothing wrong with this- they own the rights.

    The End.

  13. Ari says:

    What is the music in the new mac/intel ad?

  14. Ryan Toyota says:

    The music in the new mac/intel ad is “God Moving Over The Face Of The Waters” by Moby.

  15. Ari says:

    Thanks Ryan

  16. leah says:

    in case you haven’t seen yet. the same directors did both the video and the spot. so i dont think its a case of plagarism. just a case of laziness?

  17. K Benjamin says:

    I think apple is smart to have you people sweating the commercial. the music by moby is hot i must get it. That song was played in the movie called heat starring robert deniro and al pachino.

  18. HighDecibel says:

    Nope no permission was given. The postal service aren’t happy about it.

    According to frontman of the postal service, Ben Gibbard:

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

    It’s low for a company who always seems to pride itself on being highly original with its products. And so what if you’re an apple lover, its clearly wrong.

  19. HighDecibel says:

    Also interesting noting the first comment.

    “infringing on a 3 year old video that nearly nobody has seen anyway? thats pushing it just like the Lugz commercial that was also totally off the radar.”

    What?! Apple would have a field day if some company produced a portable music player, that was almost exactly like a 3 year old iPod. And we all know it. You can’t justify this based on a frankly short-period of time, as you’re suggesting… Always the way. There are the slaves to the corporations, and those who realised long away they’re tired of being tied to a short leash.