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Summary:

Alterna-hipster band The Shins want you to buy a Zune. No. Whoops, wait. The Shins want you to buy an iPhone. Hold on, they want you to buy both? Talk about hedging your bets. The band is featured in current commercials for both portable media players. […]

Alterna-hipster band The Shins want you to buy a Zune. No. Whoops, wait. The Shins want you to buy an iPhone. Hold on, they want you to buy both? Talk about hedging your bets. The band is featured in current commercials for both portable media players. They haven’t been this ubiquitous since that stupid Garden State movie came out.

Here, the Shins’ “Sleeping Lesson” plays during the Zune’s “Academy of Dreams” commercial. Points to Microsoft for getting their most recent album.

shins_iphone2.jpgI can’t find a video of this Apple iPhone ad online, but it was on during tonight’s episode of Heroes (does it smell like nerd in here?). This spot doesn’t use the music, just the cover to the band’s earlier album “Chutes Too Narrow.”

Thanks to the magic of DVRs, digital cameras and my wife’s enduring patience, I was able to snap a pic: I’m not above a band using its music for ads, it’s just funny that two competing products are using the same pitchmen at the same time. Wonder which one the band uses.

  1. Points to Microsoft for getting their most recent album.

    Sheesh, Chris, what kind of a hipster are you. Demerits! The “old album” is always better.

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  2. [...] The Shins: iphone vs. Zune – Fight!GigaOm, CA - 1 hour agoAlterna-hipster band The Shins want you to buy a Zune. No. Whoops, wait. The Shins want you to buy an iphone. Hold on, they want you to buy both? … [...]

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  3. garden state is awesome

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  4. Dollars to doughnuts it’s the iPhone for the band.

    With regards to the album chosen for each ad: the Microsoft Zune ad is clearly aimed at teens, whose introduction to The Shins may have come with “Wincing the Night Away.” Good choice for that ad.

    The iPhone ad is clearly aimed at twenty- and thirty-somethings, many of whom know and love not only “Chutes Too Narrow” but also “Oh, Inverted World.” Good choice for that ad.

    I did laugh at Mercer’s ability to play the two ends against the middle with these two ads, but I saw in a recent interview he did in the UK that the band will do little touring in 2008 so he can work on the fourth album. He should be quite comfortable while taking the time to do that!

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  5. Correcting the web site address – thanks.

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  6. [...] *The Shins are helping pitch both Zunes and iPods. (Maybe Ben Bridwell should try to get Target on the phone, too?) [gigaom] [...]

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  7. [...] pitch both Zunes and iPods. (Maybe Ben Bridwell should try to get Target on the phone, too?) [gigaom] *Shredz64: A geek tries to connect his Playstation Guitar Hero guitar to a Commodore 64. [waxy] [...]

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  8. Actually, this isn’t the first overlap of a band on the Zune/iPod/iPhone front. The Brazilian band “Cansei De Ser Sexy” (also known as C.S.S.) promoted the Microsoft Zune on the road and is one of the tracks that ships as a demo on the device. Meanwhile, there is an iPod Touch commercial featuring a C.S.S. song, too. It’s the one that ends in “music is where I’d like you to touch”. I can’t blame any band for trying to get as much exposure as they can, at least early on. Given the improvements Microsoft has made in the Zune in the latest iteration, it might be finally getting “good enough” to start hurting iPod sales.

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  9. Even more connections…hipster director Patrick Daughters of The Directors Bureau did both the Zune ads and Feist’s 1234.

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  10. Actually, iPhone uses a lot of Zune stuff. Have you seen the latest iPhone commercial? Nearly a year ago, Zune used the same CSS song. Check them out:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGZ9sIAuJ9k

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-AJrnJNZb4

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