During a Grammy Week episode of The Colbert Report, the show's host refereed a "sell-out-off" between the Black Keys and Vampire Weekend as the two bands debated to see who let their music soundtrack the most humiliating ad campaign. Vampire Weekend had a biggie with Honda (we all remember the Honda commercial), Tommy Hilfiger, and Hewlett-Packard, but the Keys had Zales, Victoria's Secret, and Sony Ericsson. "Clearly, you have both equally whored out your music!" Colbert declared.
Ironically, there was another ad running Grammy night that the Keys didn't even know about -- Valley National Bank made a commercial in which the band's president, Gerald H. Lipkin, talked up his company as the Keys' "Tighten Up" played in the background. And now Nonesuch Records is suing the New Jersey bank and the ad agency that made spot, Della Femina Rothschild Jeary & Partners, for an unnamed sum. "In court papers, the group is asking the judges to determine how much damage has been done in using its hip cred to flog a stodgy Garden State bank," Billboard snarkily writes.
The tune did win a Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals, so that's got to be worth something. And had the Keys been aware of this ad's existence, they would have won the sell-out-off! Someone's gotta pay up.
- Vampire Weekend