When a company can’t get the rights to a song that they want to use for a commercial, the go-to move nowadays seems to be to just hire someone to compose a nearly identical version of it. It’s happened to a countless number of bands: Beach House, LCD Soundsystem, the Black Keys, and many, many more. This kind of misappropriation has been going on since at least 1985 when Bette Midler successfully sued Ford for hiring a former backup singer to imitate her. It’s crazy that companies keep doing this but it’s probably because they keep getting away with it — besides some bad press on sites like this, these cases are hard to prove in court. Sigur Rós even wrote a blog post about why they choose not to make a big deal out of it. The latest artist to be imitated is the Cure. A new goth-inspired Sprint commercial is soundtracked by a song that is clearly intended to sound like the Disintegration hit “Lullaby.” The spot — part of a series that focuses on the Frobinson family — was created by Figliulo&Partners. You can compare the commercial music and the Cure song below.
Nice to see Kyle Mooney getting more airtime, though.
UPDATE: Reader teduardo points out that the Cure sound-alike in the commercial actually features the melody of Mötley Crüe’s “Home Sweet Home.” But you probably wouldn’t recognize it unless you’ve seen the previous commercial in the series which stars a young girl playing the ’80s metal ballad on piano and singing the lyrics in French. The “Gor-don GS5″ music is a gothified version of the campaign’s theme, then, made to sound incredibly similar to the Cure’s “Lullaby.” Pretty clever … but does that make it any less of a ripoff?
Also, yes Judy Greer’s character’s husband is a hamster voiced by Andrew Dice Clay. That’s a controversy for another blog.