Music in advertising can attract viewers to the screen, immerse consumers into the storyline of the spot, and extend relationships between the customer and the brand long after the commercial ends. Not all music is created equal, however. Many ads let their stories fall flat when synced with the wrong song, especially during Yuletide productions when a familiar holiday jingle might seem like the best move (trust us, people get sick of hearing those same thirty-year-old, quirkily recorded tracks).
To highlight what we mean, we selected five ads from last month that we thought leveraged music well and compiled this list of the Top 5 Most Musically Engaging Ads of November.
Music: AURORA “Half the World Away”
“When people think Christmas music, they think John Lewis,” said Clay Johnson, CEO of Music Dealers, in his recently published article in Music Week. “Man on the Moon” continues the brand’s winter legacy of crafting heartfelt ads led by original music to spread the Christmas spirit. The brand asked the up-and-coming Norwegian songstress AURORA to perform an original re-record of the 1994 Oasis jam, “Half the World Away.” In one week, AURORA’s version was streamed over 1 million times on Spotify and the official video earned over 10 million views on YouTube.
Music: Andra Day & Stevie Wonder “Someday at Christmas”
Over its 30-year-reign over the electronics industry, Apple has created a slew of highly engaging, wildly successful advertisements, a trend the brand continued this Thanksgiving when it released the ad “Someday at Christmas,” which featured a duet with the R&B legend Stevie Wonder at Andra Day. Highlighted in Rolling Stone’s “10 New Artists You Need to Know” for July 2015, Andra Day is an American soul singer on the rise. Her debut album, Cheers To The Fall, was released in August 2015. Apple paired the two to sing Wonder’s classic 1967 holiday song, “Someday at Christmas,” which was immediately available on iTunes and Apple Music. In its first week, the ad was viewed over 2 million times and earned over 35k social actions, according to iSpot.
Music: Ludovico Einaudi “Nuvole Bianche”
Agency: Leo Burnett Iberia (Madrid)
According to the national lottery of Spain, the greatest jackpot is sharing, a sentiment personified in the nightly rituals of the lonely, yet compassionate overnight security guard named Justino. As the three-and-a-half minute spot airs, viewers watch Justino arrange the mannequins in humorous poses for the enjoyment of the daytime staff, who in turn repay his kindness by including him in their lottery pool and their shared winnings. “Lotería de Navidad 2015” follows a similar strategy to the holiday adverts of John Lewis through replacing dialogue with an emotional song that drives the narrative. Italian composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi guided the tenderness of the spot with his song “Nuvole Bianche,” which was originally released on his 2004 album Una Mattina and which is also his most popular song on Spotify with nearly 30 million streams.
Artist Partnership: Rihanna ANTI
Agency: 72and Sunny
Following numerous interviews and events about her newest album, Rihanna partnered with Samsung to create a campaign to build hype for the singer’s first album since 2012, Anti. During the 2015 American Music Awards, Samsung released the interactive website, ANTIdiaRy.com, accessible only on mobile devices, in a series of short ads on the company’s Twitter page. “We know that one of our consumers’ passion points is music so we decided to join forces with Rihanna because she is an icon of originality and ingenuity and one of the most wildly creative voices in culture today,” said Samsung Electronics America chief marketing officer Marc Mathieu in an Ad Week article.
Music: Cash Cash “Kiss the Sky”
Agency: R/GA New York
Seen from an aerial perspective, a skillfully choreographed routine of about 150 performers portrays the functionality of Samsung’s Gear S2 smartwatch in the brand’s new ad, “Turn the bezel.” Musicians playing drums, athletes jogging in place, yogis doing yoga stuff – all of the many functions of the Gear S2 come alive in this human kaleidoscope, whose performance is synced to the glitch hop anthem “Kiss the Sky” by EDM trio Cash Cash. In its first ten days, the ad has been viewed over 12 million times and is already one of the brand’s most popular videos on its YouTube page.