Weird Al Does It Goodby’s Way

This is a story of art imitating advertising imitating art. Or something like that.

Poodle Hat, the long-awaited new album by “Weird Al” Yankovic, due in stores tomorrow, includes a song called “eBay” that’s a send-up of the Backstreet Boys hit “I Want It That Way.” (Lines include, “Tell me why (I need another pet rock)/Tell me why (I got that Alf alarm clock)/ Tell me why (I bid on Shatner’s old toupee)/They had it on eBay.”) But the song may give ad watchers déjà vu, since Goodby, Silverstein & Partners has done its own parody song about the online auction house—”I Did It eBay,” to the tune of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”—in several TV spots.

Is Weird Al turning to ads for inspiration? Is this meant to be some sort of meta-imitation—a parody of a song and, at the same time, a parody of another parody of another song? “I don’t think so,” says Imaginary Entertainment’s Jay Levey, Weird Al’s longtime manager. “I think Al thought it was just a wonderful coincidence. He looks to pop culture for his songs, and eBay is a major pop-culture force.” (While advertising, we guess, isn’t.)

Goodby’s Jamie Barrett says eBay’s ads aren’t goofy like Weird Al’s music, but says his creative team wouldn’t mind being seen as “the Weird Al of the advertising world, where we reinvent ourselves and do different songs and keep surprising people. We’ll continue to deliver eBay’s message through new songs.”