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Monday Ad Rip-Off: Pizza Hut vs. The Black Keys

Over the past few months, Pizza Hut has been rolling out a new, attitude-driven campaign. It turns out that CP+B’s work for Domino’s has been paying off, and Pizza Hut is responding accordingly, lowering their price point on some products to help stave off Domino’s from encroaching further on its fast-food pizza delivery market share.

As some have noted, the tune playing in the background of the above spot sounds eerily similar to “Gold on the Ceiling,” a recent single from Akron, Ohio-based blues-rock duo the Black Keys’ 2011 album, El Camino. Listen for yourself:

There may have been a time (hell, two years ago) when a brand of Pizza Hut’s size would have no problem laying down the cash for use of a Black Keys’ track. But, this is 2012, and the Black Keys are at the peak of their popularity, being hailed by some as the “new Kings of Leon,” (except, you know, actually talented).

Using audio facsimiles of popular indie rock tunes isn’t anything new. In fact, it was only a year ago when Microsoft used a dead-ringer for Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up” on a TV spot for MSN. Now, we don’t think the Black Keys are the kind of guys who would get their label, Warner Music Group subsidiary Nonesuch, to sue Pizza Hut over this. But, that carbon-copy of singer Dan Auerbach‘s signature croon might be enough to push anyone over the edge. What say you, dear readers? Is Pizza Hut guilty of an ad rip-off? And yes, we’re checking to see if this is a Martin Agency joint. Stay tuned.

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