Sprint Ripped Off The Cure's "Lullaby" For Its Goth-Themed Framily Commercial

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.

Comments (32)
  1. Just in time for Robert Smith’s birthday, eh?

  2. First time I saw this I thought Dylan Baldi was the goth kid.

  3. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • You’re not listening then.

    • as long as brazen means ‘bold and without shame’ then yes, that’s exactly what it is.

    • All I hear (and I have to strain to hear anything since it’s so subtle (the point u/Jay Edwards makes)) is a guitar that sounds similar playing a different chord progression… it would be “brazen” if it was the same sound and chord progression.

      • If you really don’t think it sounds like ‘lullaby’ then I can’t help you. But wether you hear it or not the mimicry is clearly intentional.

  4. Didn’t even notice the song when I first (….or fifth) saw the commercial

  5. This is what happens when we live in a monoculture.

    • Too fitting that this was the ad that hijacked my phone upon clicking on this story:

      That said, is there any way to make it so ads don’t hijack the page on your mobile once it loads? Stereogum is one of the most freaking annoying sites to look at on an iPhone for that reason.

  6. Robert Smith has found the fountain of youth.

  7. Oh come on, it’s being used for humorous purposes. It’s basically just a signifier of “goth muzak” to sell the joke, which is way different than an ad that tries to connect a popular indie song to a product for cool points. Big fat WHATEVS.

  8. Am I the only one that sees a goth Rachel Maddow?

  9. I noticed this the first time I saw the commercial and I don’t think much of it. It’s meant to sound like he cure because the weird goth kid they have in the commercial is obviously meant to be a cure fan. I just don’t se he big deal. It’s not like they’re trying to pass it off as an original composition.

  10. First thing I thought of when I saw the commercial. I think you’re giving mega-corporations too much credit if you think this isn’t an intentional rip-off.

  11. more disappointed in judy greer and kyle mooney tbh

  12. If that wasn’t blatant enough, then I don’t know what it.

  13. I don’t get it…is Judy Greer dating the hamster?

    • “Sprint Brazenly Rips Off The Cure’s “Lullaby” In Bizarre Commercial Promoting Woman-On-Hampster Bestiality.”

      • the percentage of people who think it’s “hampster” literally astounds me–and your error is especially egregious, considering that it’s spelled correctly right there above in the comment you replied to.

        there’s no fucking ‘p’. it’s fucking HAMSTER.

  14. Apparently none of you are familiar with the work of this obscure indie band called “Motley Crue”. If you were, you would recognize that the music in the background is a cover of their 1985 master work “Home sweet home”, but played to sound like The Cure. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that they probably did license the song, considering a previous commercial in this series featured a little blonde girl playing this song on the piano and singing the lyrics in French.

  15. At this very moment, Robert Smith is tapping on his Caps Lock readying himself to unleash goth hell…

  16. it couldn’t sound much more similar. the tempo and key are identical, as are the accented synth-pizzicato strings.

  17. The first time i saw this commercial i immediately thought “haha that sounds exactly like the Cure. Somebody must be a fan” and was kinda pleasantly surprised by the attention to goth authenticity rather than just playing some shitty early-2000s emo song. I fucking hate these commercials though.

  18. It is a total ripoff of The Cure, almost EXACTLY the same! Only a troll could claim that it isn’t.

    First time I heard the commercial, I put on the real thing.

  19. Perhaps teduardo has Motley Crue confused with Motley Cure, minus the Motley.

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