Volkswagen Rips Off Beach House In Ad
VW tries to appeal to hipsters with indie soundalike.
Web2Carz Senior Writer
Published: May 29th, 2012
t’s a long tradition in advertising—if you want to market your product to a certain subset of the population, you use a song in the commercial that will resonate with that subset. If you can’t afford to pay for the rights to that song, or just don’t want to, you hire a soundalike. But this can be tricky, because artists have successfully sued over the use of soundalikes, and now Volkswagen is under fire for supposedly hiring a soundalike to mimic a song by indie-rock favorites Beach House.
Eminem, Bette Midler, Slipknot, and Carlos Santana have all been involved in soundalike controversies. Singer/songwriter Tom Waits has successfully sued not one but two automakers, Volkswagen-Audi and General Motors, over the use of soundalikes in commercials.
The current VW controversy involves a commercial spot in England that features a song that sounds remarkably like “Take Care” by Baltimore dream pop band Beach House. According to an article in Pitchfork, the song used in the ad was composed by “a team—note, not ‘band’—called Sniffy Dog, who specialize in this kind of thing.”
There has been no news of any legal action being taken in this case, but compare the two below and see what you think.
The Beach House song:
The VW ad: