Sigur Rós Calls Out, Gives Attention to Ad Industry

By Bob Marshall Comment

Icelandic indie crooners Sigur Rós are known to lend their ethereal, gibberish-laden songs to films, television and the like. However, the band consistently turns down companies asking to use their songs for advertising purposes, as that would most likely qualify as “selling out” and thus cause a significant drop in “street cred” or something. Advertisers have found a way past this for the last few years, producing songs that sound nearly identical to Sigur Rós’s tunes but feature just enough of a difference to avoid copyright infringement. Well, guess what? The band figured out what was going on.

In a carefully-worded blog post on their website, Sigur Rós lists 10 advertisements along with titles of their own songs, asking listeners to decide whether or not, as they put it, the advertisements count as an “homage,” or if they’re simply wrought with a little too much “fromage.” The group even mentions the intention to make “homage or fromage” a regular feature on their site.

Some of the advertisements mentioned include the one above that sounds an awful like Sigur Rós’s Vanilla Sky contribution, “Svefn-g-englar,” a Sea World/Busch Gardens commercial that liberally borrows from “Hoppípolla,” and a spot for Telmex that uses a a song that’s a dead-ringer for “Fljótavík.” The sad part: Sigur Rós has little to no hope of winning any sort of lawsuit over any of these.

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