9 Songs Made Famous Because They Were Featured On Adverts
So you’re watching TV and this advert keep replaying over and over, now you can’t get that one song out of your head. Well thats the power music can have in advertising. Having the right music in commercials is important, because it is the most effective way to create memorability. It allows people to sing or hum the song when its not on, creating associations with and attitudes towards a brand.
In some cases this can transform the brand. For example, having rock music can signal that a certain brand’s identity is edgy and cool. Furthermore, commercials have also done more than just sell products – they have also managed to rejuvenate sales for some long-forgotten and unknown songwriters. Below we have compiled a list of songs made famous because they were featured on TV adverts.
1# “1,2,3,4” by Feist – Apple IPOD Nano (2007)
Before the Apple Advert, the indie-pop songwriter’s track was averaging 2,000 downloads a week. After the advert, average downloads per week significantly improved to around 73,000. This propelled the song onto the US Billboard Hot 100 and peaked on the UK singles chart at 8th.
2# “New Soul” by Yael Naim – MacBook Air (2008)
“New Soul” gained huge popularity following its use by Apple in for their MacBook Air advertisement. It was French-Israeli’s first single to enter the US chart peaking at 9 on the Billboard Hot 100. It later spent a total of 19 weeks on the chart.
3# “Heartbeats” by José González – Sony Bravia (2005)
One of the most spectacular adverts ever created, Sony’s bouncy ball advert featured 250,000 real brightly coloured balls bouncing down a San Francisco Street. The film crew only had one chance to get it right and it took a team of 50 interns on roller skates, and four days to collect all the balls. The song “Heartbeats” was originally the first single for The Knife’s 2003 album, “Deep Cuts”. However the version in Sony Bravia’s advert was an acoustic rendition recorded by José González for his debut album Veneer. After the advert, José’s version of the song spent 14 weeks on the UK top 40 singles chart peaking at number 7.
4# “Wherever You Will Go” by Charlene Soraia – Twinings (2011)
A mainstream audience noticed Soraia in 2011 after her cover of “Wherever You Will Go” by Calling was featured in the Twinings Advert. The song so popular that it peaked at number 2 in the iTunes digital download chart, as well as reaching number 3 in the UK Singles Chart. This also propelled the original song to re-enter the UK Top 40 singles chart as well.
5# “I Can Feel It” by Phil Collins – Cadbury (2007)
One of the most recognisable adverts in recent years, Cadbury’s commercial featured a gorilla (not a real one) playing the famous drum sequence from Phil Collins’ hit “I Can Feel It”. After its premier week, the song which was originally released in 1981, re-entered the charts peaking at number 14 on the UK singles Chart and number 9 on the UK Download Chart. However the advert was so popular in New Zealand that it re-entered the RIANZ Singles Chart at number 1, beating its original 1981 number 6 peak. Furthermore that advert won Best Ad of the Year, at New Zealand’s Fair-Go Ad Awards.
6#“Inside” by Stiltskin – Levi’s CREEK (1994)
Stiltskin was formed by Peter Lawlor, who wrote the music for Levis and was looking for a band to perform it. The resulting single, “Inside” topped the UK Singles Chart in 1994, but the band failed to produce further chart successes with the follow-up single “Footsteps” reaching No. 34.
7# “Spaceman” by Babylon zoo – Levi’s (1995)
“Spaceman” was Babylon Zoo’s first ever single which appeared on a Levi’s jeans TV advert. Levi’s used the song after hearing it on a Manchester Radio Station. The single was so popular that it became the fastest-selling single in the UK since The Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love” in 1964. In the UK, It spent 5 weeks at number 1 and sold 420,000 copies in the first week of its release.
8#“Somewhere Only We Know” by Lily Allen – John Lewis (2013)
On the 10th of November, Lily Allen covered Keane’s 2004 hit “Somewhere Only We Know”. This was used as the soundtrack to t he John Lewis 2013 Christmas advertisement. This was Allen’s third number one single which peaked higher than the original song by Keane.
9#”Here Come the Girls” by Allen Toussaint – Boots (2007-2008)
“Here Come the Girls” was originally recorded and released by Ernie K-Doe in 1970. However the song failed to chart. As a result of being featured in the Boots television commercial in 2007 and 2008, the song entered the UK singles chart for five weeks peaking at number 43. As a result of its success, the Sugababes sampled the song, which was used for more Boots advertisements after 2008
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