Apple’s iPhone13 ad uses music of ‘Dum Maro Dum’ song
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Apple’s iPhone13 ad uses music of ‘Dum Maro Dum’ song

New Delhi, 17-September-2021, By IBW Team

Apple’s iPhone13 ad uses music of ‘Dum Maro Dum’ song

Apple product launches always generate a lot of excitement and iPhone13 was no exception when various models were unveiled on Tuesday in the US. But this time there was also a major Indian twist to the whole affair.

The advert for the iPhone13 (https://youtu.be/m43rh-pI0P0) uses very recognizable snatches of  a Hindi song ‘Dum Maro Dum’ from Dev Anand-directed 1971 film Hare Ram Hare Krishna.The song was primarily filmed on Anand, film’s heroine Zeenat Aman and a bunch of pot-smoking hippies.

“Consumer Tech’s poster boy Apple uses a 50 year old Saregama song for it’s 2021 product launch,” said a LinkedIn post of Vikram Mehra, MD, Saregama India Ltd, a RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group company.

Dev Anand film’s song rights belonged to HMV, an earlier avatar of Saregama, which only came into existence as a brand and company name late 2000 when the Goenkas took full control of the The Gramophone Co. of India Ltd. that owned the HMV brand.

Dwelling on the Apple ad, Mehra further wrote: “Apple licensed and used  Saregama’s song ‘Dum Maro Dum’ for iPhone 13 launch event and ad….another indicator that Indian Music has arrived at the global stage and more importantly Retro Music Rocks…Panchamda was a GENIUS.”

The music for the song was composed by RD Burman, known as Pancham to his friends, family and fans. The song acquired a cult status in the India of 70s and early 80s — and continues to mesmerize fans in 2021 too. However, folklore has it that when Burman’s father, the legendary Indian music composer and singer SD Burman, heard ‘Dum Maro Dum’ he staged a walkout.

Meanwhile, as Mehra’s post had the music industry and his contacts swooning, some people also raised the issue of copyrights and licensing of the song by Apple for use in the advertisement.

“I’m not aware of the legal aspects here (related to copyright laws), but why would Apple need to license the Hindi song from Saregama since they are simply using Footsie’s 2015 song ‘Work All Day’ (https://bit.ly/3hBmuWW) that had already (previously) licensed the Hindi song legally? Keen to understand/learn,” Mehra observed.

Amidst the IPR and licensing debate, it was finally set to rest by

Tony Black, a music artist and label manager, who commented on Mehra’s post by stating: “The track that was actually licensed is Footsie – ‘Work All Day’ produced by Sukh Knight, it features a sample of ‘Dum Maaro Dum’.”

These evolved discussions on copyrights notwithstanding, there’s no denying that ‘Dum Maro Dum’ (which would loosely translate into ‘keep on puffing’) still packs a punch and R.D Burman continues to mesmerize the millennials.

iPhone13 Availability From Sept. 24:Apple enthusiasts in India will be able to get their hands on the latest line-up of iPhones — iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max — with prices starting at Rs 69,900 onwards from later this month.

“Customers in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, India, Japan, the UK, the US, and more than 30 other countries and regions will be able to pre-order iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max…availability beginning Friday, September 24,” a statement from Apple said.

Customers can get iPhone 13 Pro for Rs 1,19,900 (onwards) and iPhone 13 Pro Max for Rs 1,29,900 (onwards) from Apple’s online store, the statement added.

India is among the key growth drivers for Apple. Strong double-digit growth in markets like India and Latin America had helped the iPhone maker report double-digit revenue growth at USD 81.4 billion, a new record for the June quarter, PTI had reported.


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