Apple Bites Again

Indie band, The Postal Service, posted a note on their site yesterday commenting on the apparent shot-by-shot recreation of their video “Such Great Heights” in Apple’s new ad announcing their Intel processors.

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. -Ben Gibbard, The Postal Service

Apple’s new ad is available on their site. Might we remind you of Apple’s ad featuring Eminem, which ignited controversy as it too closely resembled a previously made Lugz spot.
How is TBWA/Chiat letting these out the door? And why is Apple signing off?

About Shawn Hartley

Creative technologist by day. VP at Corporate 3 Design in Omaha. Proud father and husband.


  1. Lee Clow, where’s your hatchet? Please be swift.

  2. Ha! As John Hegarty once said “originality is determined by the obscurity of your influences”.

  3. ‘The Postal Service’ Complains to Apple For Copying It’s Video

    AdPulp points us to The Postal Service website on which band member Ben Gibbard posted a statement complaining about Apple’s copying of its “Such Great Heights” video for use in the company’s new Apple/Intel spot. In the statement, Gibbard…

  4. Legally, would this come under the free speech and parody? It depends on how well known the Postal Service’s original video was, but if it is part of the public consciousness, TBWA/Chiat may have a defence. I can think of one Supreme Court decision that would go against it. And certainly getting the same filmmakers to do the production is cutting it too close.

  5. It’s indie not indy.

  6. Mike Oxlarge says:

    Whatever it is, it’s not creative work. It’s a hack job. And Mr. Jobs is a sucker for paying for it.
    But Chiat has always been masters at hacking the obscure. Remember the Taco Bell Chihuahua law suit? Or “The Stuff of Life” campaign for Kmart? (Actually you wouldn’t remember that because it was ripped straight out of a student portfolio and when the school threatened to sue Chiat, Chiat threatened to blackball every student graduating from that school).
    Just goes to show how “creative” creativity really is on the big pirate ship.
    Mike Oxlarge

  7. Mr. Gibbard: get over yourself already. So, the ad agency liked the look of your video, and got the director to do something simillar for them. And don’t blame Apple — the Apple marketing person who approved the ad probably never saw your video. I mean, who watches videos these days, and where do they see them?

  8. That student book that got ripped came from Adcenter, right? That was the rumor I heard.

  9. Actually, moko – it’s not ‘similar’ – visit The Postal Service’s site and watch the video – it’s downright same. I would venture to guess it’s recycled video clips in there. If not, it’s recycled storyboards, for sure.
    And if TPS paid good money for someone to make an original video for them, they are of course upset.
    The very least the director could have done is to offer to use TPS’s music as the soundtrack for Apple’s commercial.