As we all know, adverts need to be the full package in order to live in the memory of everyone who watches it. Yet a lot of tunes are adapted so well (or so relentlessly) that it’s hard to separate them from the ad they’re used in.
As a leading video production company in Leeds and Wakefield, we place a lot importance on getting the music right in a TV commercial. So, here are seven TV ad songs that, for us, were able to add an extra level of promotion to a product.
1. Boots – ‘Here Come the Girls’
Annoying, sexist yet incredibly memorable all at the same time. The Boots campaigns of 2007 onwards featured the late Ernie K-Doe’s ‘Here Come the Girls’, later covered by the Sugababes.
They ideas was to hammer home the fact that the chemist doesn’t only do prescriptions. It’s light-hearted enough. But by the third or fourth iteration of the campaign, you struggled hard to hate the superficial narcissism of it all.
2. Levi’s – ‘Flat Beat’
Levi’s had so many incredible songs for its adverts (not least ‘Inside’ by Stiltskin in the mid-90s). But the most iconic by far was the one that also launched Flat Eric’s short-lived career.
Featuring a car, a filthy bassline and a puppet, the ‘Flat Beat’ commercial perhaps overtakes the man-in-a-laundrette classic that set the bar for every Levi’s campaign. The official ‘Flat Beat’ video’s even better.
3. Vodafone – ‘Another Girl, Another Planet’
Generally cited as one of the favourite songs of the late legendary broadcaster John Peel, as well as AllMusic’s greatest rock single of all time, the Only Ones’ ‘Another Girl, Another Planet’ relived its 1978 success in the mid-2000s with Vodafone.
Amazingly, it managed to attach itself nicely to the brand without winding anyone up. Great praise indeed, especially as the song’s about a heavy heroin addiction.
4. Gears of War – ‘Mad World’
One way to get an exclusive game franchise up and running is to spend big bucks on the ads. And of course, the TV ad songs you use. The use of Gary Jules’ cover of ‘Mad World’ by Microsoft for the launch of the first Gears of War was a coup de grace.
It matched the sombre tone of the game perfectly, and used it three years after its initial success as Christmas number one in the UK. This meant it was well past the saturation period that the tune had had across TV and radio.
5. Hive – Every ‘hilarious’ Hive song
We’re yet to meet anyone who genuinely gets along with the music displayed in Hive adverts. Their unique mix of nonsensical rhyming lyrics and twee sentimentality about app-controlled central heating is like going to a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert shortly after Anthony Kiedis is lobotomised, and signed to a contract by CBeebies.
It stays in your head, forever, but at least puts you off buying the product… Therefore hopefully doing away with the entire business model (and its ads) in the near future.
6. Levi’s – ‘Sarabande’
Oh God, it’s Levi’s again! And we’ve already mentioned two other ads it’s done alongside Flat Beat! Nonetheless, this wall-busting video created in 2002 made classical music cool to a whole new audience. The payoff is as confusing as it is beautiful.
7. Apple – Anything with a silhouette attached to it
For four years, Apple ran its most iconic ad campaign that set the bar for its future endeavours that played directly into the consumer’s desire to be part of something bigger, cooler, and unmissable. With over 20 tracks attached to this format, incorporating big bands, wide tastes – and U2 – Apple’s iPod would, unsurprisingly, not have taken off without its heavy reliance on music to carry its message.
What TV ad songs do you rate – or hate? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!