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How brands help bands

by Riccardo Webb on 22 June 2012

Our last post caused an interesting reaction, specifically around the use of music on product videos.

But haven’t we all seen a video or ad and gone “Holy s**t, that song’s awesome!”?

Back in 2010 J&B released the following ad in South Africa. I remember watching it for the first time and being completely absorbed by the entire thing. Goosebumps on my arms as the ad came to an end and the reference to Phi making it all the more mysterious. “I’ve got to have that song!” I said to my gold fish Bison. A few minutes later Google informed me that the song was “Smoke & Mirrors” by RJD2, a DJ I never considered would feel at home in my music library between Rise Against and Rob Zombie.

Another great example, as pointed out by Eric Whelan, is the Internet Explorer ad featuring Alex Clare’s “Too Close”. Eric might not like it, but the song became an overnight sensation, reaching #20 on the iTunes Top 100 Songs and the top 10 of the iTunes Pop Chart, selling over 100k downloads in merely three weeks.

So, as a little Friday inspiration I’ve left my five of my favourite ads and the songs that made them awesome below.

1. Nike “Chosen” Extended remix

Band: Hanni El-Khatib’s

Song: I got a thing

2. Gears of war 3 “Ashes to ashes”

Band: Sun Kil Moon

Song: Heron blue

3. Ford “2011 Mustang”

Band: Band of skulls

Song: Light of the morning

4. Heineken “The entrance”

Band: The asteroids galaxy tour

Song: Golden age

5. Dante’s Inferno “Go to hell”

Band: Bill Withers

Song: Aint no sunshine

What’s especially great is the opportunity small, underground bands have to reach wider audiences, as part of big budget campaigns they would never be able to fund themselves.

A case of brands supporting the arts without even trying.

Have you spotted any examples of fantastic songs, artists and bands you’ve discovered because of a brand’s involvement?

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  • http://www.ericwhelan.co.uk Eric Whelan

    It as more the use of “catchy tunes” to cover up what can otherwise be pretty dull product showcases. I don’t for a second doubt that they can hugely help the popularity of artists. Two good examples that I think you missed. Both artists I discovered through these ads:

    Woodkid in the Assasin’s Creed Revalations TV ad:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRjuVRrQIs4

    Chairlift in the iPod Nano advert:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EUYTGBpBms

  • http://twitter.com/Qaoileann Caoileann Appleby

    I second Eric: I bought his EP after seeing that ad, and I don’t even play Assassin’s Creed. 
    (another version here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC7OJrRUnCA)

    Second example is Gorecki by Lamb: used in a TV ad for Guinness several years ago, and also apparently in an ad for Tomb Raider, in the film Moulin Rouge, and in Torchwood. 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Bwy2XSbk3Q