Making it Memorable: The Use of Music In 9 Unforgettable Ads
Imagine watching a commercial with no sound—weird, right? Most likely, you would quickly lose interest, and the ad would have little to no impact on you. Brands who want to truly connect to their audience and add a head-turning element to their commercial do so with music.
To celebrate the power of music in advertisements, we’re sharing a few of our favorites over the years. The below brands utilized music to elevate their message, create a story, and evoke feeling in viewers that can’t be done through visual. And unsurprisingly, these commercials have such an impact, they often catapult songs and artists onto the top of the charts.
1234 by Feist, Apple Put on this song and Apple immediately comes to mind—a perfect example of the vast, long-lasting effects the perfect song can have on a brand. Ten years later, Feist’s hit is still associated with the colorful iPod Nano line, it’s whimsical sound perfectly matching the bright, eye-catching colors in the music video.
Now, Volvo could have gone a multitude of different ways with this, but they very purposely—and somewhat surprisingly to the viewer—chose the fantastical Only Time by Enya. The brilliant selection pairs perfectly with the gravity of the stunt (“the epic split”) pulled by the one and only Jean-Claude Van Damme, but also adds a bit of contradictory humor to the situation.
New Soul by Yael Naim, Apple Apple does it again! Steve Jobs hand-picked the happy-go-lucky tune by French-Israeli singer-songwriter Yael Naim himself for the launch of the new MacBook. The release launched the song into popularity, as well as reinforced the brand’s fun and creative personality.
My Body by Young the Giant, Mountain Dew Um, wtf? Who came up with the idea for someone to collide with a giant balloon of soda? Mountain Dew, of course. In a totally on-brand move, Mountain Dew creates an unforgettable moment by pairing an incredible stunt with an adventurous Indie Rock song. The song choice helped echo the extreme nature of the ad and solidify the soft drink’s messaging.
Water Me by Lizzo, Walmart Black Friday has never felt so cool. You can’t help but bob your head to Lizzo’s 2017 track as shoppers confidently march through Walmart grabbing the latest deals. While Black Friday in-store shopping can be somewhat—uh, dreadful—the Walmart + Lizzo combo makes this day feel like a party while highlighting the best deals and dance moves.
“Real stunts—do not attempt.” → immediately pays attention to commercial. The wild stunts performed by the new Chevy Sonic needed an iconic soundtrack, which is why Chevrolet turned to chart topper We Are Young. At the time, the song was adored universally in dance clubs, workouts, and homes across the nation—so why not add aerial car antics to the list!
Are You Gonna Be my Girl by Jet, Apple An oldie but goodie. Apple has a knack for choosing songs that align with the feeling they want their ads to create—just try watching this ad and see if you don’t want to dust off that old iPod and dance by the end.
Bacardi created a mini-film within this commercial, inspiring nostalgia with an eye-catching time-traveling sequence. The upbeat, joyous tune carries the listener through different generations—solidifying that no matter the decade, Bacardi liquor is the go-to party starter.
5 Years Time by Noah and the Whale, Sun Chips When Sun Chips repositioned as a healthy, whole grain option for snacks, their commercials began to reflect this mission as well. The bright, airy, outdoorsy video matches the tone of 5 Years Time and creates a picture of wellness.
Bringing Background Music to the Forefront Music in advertising is often taken for granted, but these examples prove the power of a carefully placed song to create stories that resonate. We can help your message resonate with custom audio targeted to your best audience.