Did Ford Argentina Rip Off Spoon’s ‘I Turn My Camera On’?
Once again, it seems like an ad agency has tried to glom on to the popularity of a song to sell a product without paying for it. In this case, it's Ford Argentina, who have released a spot that sounds suspiciously like Spoon's "I Turn My Camera On."
Stereogum noted a tweet from a fan to the band that read, "Hey @spoontheband, a local Ford ad here in Argentina is plagiarising one of your songs. Please sue their asses off." A link to the commercial, which is embedded above, was included. There are distinct similarities in the groove and the falsetto vocals, although it's doubtful by their response that Spoon envisioned their song to be associated with bubble-blowing balloon-people riding around in a car.
"Thanks for the tip. And the nightmares," Spoon tweeted back to the fan.
Spoon aren't against using their music in commercials. Coincidentally, "I Turn My Camera On," was used in a 2006 spot for a different car, Jaguar's XK Coupe.
Such practices have been going on in the advertising industry for decades. In 1990, Tom Waits successfully sued Frito-Lay and its ad agency for a hiring a Waits impersonator to sing a jingle that sounded like his "Step Right Up" from 1976's Small Change. Waits was awarded more than $2 million.
More recently, in 2012 the Black Keys, who are no stranger to product placement, sued both Pizza Hut and Home Depot for putting songs in commercials that sounded too much like "Gold on the Ceiling" and "Lonely Boy," respectively. Those cases were settled out of court, with the terms undisclosed.
"I Turn My Camera On" appeared on Spoon's 2005 album Gimme Fiction. Bolstered by the single's success, the record became the band's first album to hit the Billboard 200, where it peaked at No. 44, and it also topped the Indie chart.