What’s That Song?

Music can be a crucial addition to any commercial. Being featured in advertising can help any rising artist break out. In this post, I will write about ads where songs are important, and give you the name and artist.

Artist: The Non-Commissioned Officers, Song: “Evolve”

In a commercial where a monkey accompanies a man to a party, it seems natural that it would be backed by a song called “Evolve”. Maybe it’s just the people I know, but I feel like women would be more receptive to a guy with a spider monkey on his shoulder. But it definitely isn’t the best way to fight flakes. I guess Garnier Fructis is going for a male audience here, but it doesn’t have a very male-sounding name. I always used to get Garnier Fructis confused with Clairol Herbal Essences.

Artist: Tim Myers, Song: “Under Control”

I actually didn’t remember what commercial this bouncy song was in, which is probably not what Chase wants to hear. In a note that only I may find interesting, Tim Myers was the bass player in OneRepublic from 2004-07. He left the band a year before they hit it big with “Apologize”, a song that was #1 in 16 countries, though only peaked at #2 in the US. Whatever guys, it’s a great song!

Artist: Jonsi, Song: “Go Do”

Jonsi is (maybe) better known as the lead singer of Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Ros. Ford Explorer’s ad sure is visually appealing and makes the viewer actually want to “go do” something. But these commercials seem to inevitably be followed by a lunkheaded fast food spot and me scratching myself.

Artist: M. Ward, Song: “Here Comes The Sun Again”

Aww. Sort of takes on the vibe of the Ford Explorer commercial, with a romantic twist. Very cute commercial and song.

Artist: Heart, Song: “What About Love”

By far the best known song on this list. This is part of Swiffer’s somewhat strange campaign using love songs from the ’70s and ’80s. A few weeks ago, I was at the grocery store, in the cleaning aisle, right next to all the Swiffer products when “What About Love” came on. It was the fantasy of any Swiffer brand executive, except of course that I didn’t buy any Swiffer.

Peyton and Eli Manning: Football Cops

There’s an NFL lockout so the players need something to do. Enter Peyton and Eli Manning: Football Cops.

It’s a little hard to tell whether this is just an advertising campaign for DirecTV, or whether it’s going to be an actual web series. In any case, it looks incredible. And a small part of me wants the NFL lockout to continue so the Manning brothers have more time for these.

Rerun: Apple’s Commercials: Some Sweet, Some Worm-Filled

In the spirit of summer reruns, I give you a re-post of something that I don’t think got enough views in its original version. Enjoy!

When I think about advertising campaigns that I hated, Apple’s “Get a Mac” is one of the first that comes to mind. “Get a Mac” ran from 2006 to 2010, and the spots compared Macs to PCs. In case you’ve forgotten, here’s is a video with all of the ads on Apple’s website.

I couldn’t stand these. The consumer is supposed to take away advantages that Macs have over PCs, but my reaction was that Justin Long is kinda an ass and should be nicer to that dorky middle-aged man. Justin Long is a big part of the problem for me. He just has that David Spade-esque quality that makes me want to smack him. He seems like the type who would hit on your girlfriend at a bar, or be a difficult customer that doesn’t tip at a restaurant (someone his character in Waiting would have hated). Otherwise, the campaign crystallized every negative stereotype I have about “Mac people”; that they are smug, elitist, and pretentious. People who go out of their way to be different, while being so self-unaware of how they are pigeonholing themselves. These views aren’t just mine, a recent study backs them up.

“Get a Mac” did have many fans though, as evidenced by it being named “Campaign of the Decade” by AdWeek. Maybe it did help the brand, but I just didn’t like it. However, there is a reason that Apple is such a hugely successful company, and they have had some great ads. In the mid-2000s, being featured in an Apple commercial was often a gateway to success for indie-oriented artists. Feist’s “1234″ was featured in an iPod Nano commercial, and climbed all the way to #8 on Billboard’s Hot 100. Yael Naim’s “New Soul” was used in a MacBook Air ad, and peaked at #7 on the Hot 100. It also happened that these songs became popular by people seeing the commercials and downloading the songs, mostly off iTunes. So Apple would pay for use of the music, and they ended up making money off the iTunes downloads. And they helped these artists in the process. Genius.

Another groundbreaking Apple commercial has a story behind it. In 2007, 18 year old British student Nick Haley created a commercial for the iPod Touch using the very catchy “Music Is My Hot Hot Sex” by CSS. He posted his video on YouTube, which was discovered by Apple. Apple then hired Nick to make a broadcast version of his video . Here’s the final cut.

It’s pretty inspiring to think that a person like you or I could create a national commercial. So there it is. I hated “Get a Mac”, but I’ll give Apple credit where it’s due.

Jim Beam Gets Epic

This commercial has been around since February, but I saw it for the first time last night. I only really saw the tail end of it, but I had to go online to watch the real thing. There’s a number of versions, including a 30 second spot which was probably the one I saw. But I think this one is the best.

Holy Willem Dafoe! I felt totally blown away after watching this. It somewhat reminds me of a much more cinematic and artistically crisp version of an AT&T commercial I wrote about last month. The gentle backing music that sounds like Explosions in the Sky makes this ad even more powerful.

Maybe Jim Beam’s commercial is being shown more widely since it just won some big awards. There is some irony, since Jim Beam is the world’s best selling bourbon, it really isn’t a “bold choice”. And while drinking Jim Beam does make me more bold, the jury is still out on whether my bold choices are actually good ones. But still, what a commercial!

TUMS Cockslap Heartburn

This was on my short list of future posts because of the very uh…suggestive nature. Actually suggestive is probably the wrong word; this one is downright blatant. Today, I was watching TV with my mom when this commercial came on. Her reaction: “I think they chose the wrong food”. Just remember, TUMS backwards is SMUT.

Revisiting Terry Tate: Office Linebacker

Today, AdFreak compiled a list of the 10 funniest commercials of all time. #4 on the list was Reebok’s hilarious Terry Tate: Office Linebacker. Despite only being shown on national TV once (during Super Bowl XXXVII), Terry Tate was turned into a series of online videos that became a huge hit before YouTube. Here are some highlights.

Although these spots were comedic gold, there was some criticism regarding the connection to Reebok. According to USA Today’s Ad Meter, only 55 percent of respondents knew that it was a Reebok ad, far below the desired result. Still, for those of us who appreciate advertising for the amusing factor, Terry Tate is a Hall of Fame player. Besides, what workplace couldn’t use an Office Linebacker?

Sun Drops Like A Bomb

Sun Drop, a citrus soft drink long only available in parts of the South and Midwest, is now being distributed nationally. The Dr. Pepper Snapple group is doing a great job promoting Sun Drop. Watch.

This commercial is generating a huge amount of heat, with almost 4.7 million views since being uploaded on YouTube in March. Sun Drop also has a contest to make your own video and be featured in a future ad, and a YouTube search reveals dozens of parody videos. Everything is working here…dancing, a wicked catchy Snoop Dogg song, interactivity, and the excitement of a new product. Sun Drop is poised to make a big splash this summer. Watch out, Mountain Dew.

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