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4 Iconic Songs That Actually Came From Commercials

The human brain has a remarkable ability to rewrite memories. You may be positive you wore a red dress to the 2016 New Years’ Eve party... Until someone shows you a picture from that night, and there you are, wearing blue.

Your brain also tends to do this with music. You might be convinced that you heard a beloved track for the first time on a friend’s playlist or on the radio. But the truth is that you heard it for the first time in a television commercial.

With that in mind, here are 5 songs that most people don’t know they discovered in a commercial.


1. Pretty Much Anything From Moby’s Play Album

At the turn of the century, everyone knew Moby’s music, but almost nobody had his album.

His Play LP was critically adored, but the mainstream’s taste in music wasn’t quite ready for him. He had a hard time getting played on radio stations or in the clubs.

But his music soon found global audiences. Every single song on the album eventually found its way into a major film, TV series, or commercial. That’s why the album has been called The Thriller Of Licensing.

You didn’t hear Moby on the radio. But you heard him when American Express shot a young Tiger Woods golfing in NYC, and you heard him in ultra-stylized Volkswagen and Baileys Irish Cream commercials.

Leading up to Play’s release, Moby admited that he thought of himself as a has-been. But licencing his music helped propel him into the mainstream.


2. Feist – 1, 2, 3, 4

If you lived in Canada around 2006, you may have had a disproportionate idea of how famous Feist was at the time. She was a hit in her native land, but relatively obscure as soon as you cross the border.

However, that all changed when her preposterously catchy single 1, 2, 3, 4 landed in an Apple Nano commercial. Suddenly hundreds of thousands of international listeners were asking, “Who is that?”

Before long, the song became the breakout hit of 2007. She sang it on Saturday Night Live and even did a special rendition for Sesame Street.


3. Jet - Are You Gonna Be My Girl

This is another song that was shot into the stratosphere by an iconic Apple commercial.

Back in 2003, before they were a global super-power, Apple was trying to position themselves as the hip and vibrant alternative to Microsoft. Apple created an ad with colourful silhouettes that were wearing iPods and dancing to Are You Gonna Be My Girl. The rest is advertising history.

The commercial sent Jet flying up the billboard charts, while the ad became an instant classic and one of the most influential ever made.


4. Ambassadors – Renegades

This is a unique example of a band gaining even more notoriety because they were actually able to appear in the commercial playing the song.

Jeep needed a soulful song that would personify the carefree adventurers synonymous with their brand. They found a match made in heaven with the song Renegades by Ambassadors.

The full-length song was released shortly later in March of 2015. The exposure helped it reach #17 on the Billboard Hot 100, while also hitting #1 in Canada.


Need the Perfect Song for Your Commercial?

Absolute Sync was created to bridge the gap between the business side and the artistic side of music production, while solving the most common problems from both sides of the industry.

We connect musicians to music supervisors and build the relationships that create success for both sides. Click here to contact us any time to learn more.


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