Diddy, Sarah McLachlan and Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider were also in ad cameos.
Music dominated Super Bowl XLVIII Sunday night (Feb. 2) just as much at the Seattle Seahawks did -– and not just Bruno Mars’ soulful halftime performance with the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. U2, Bob Dylan, Diddy, Drake, Zedd, Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider and Sarah McLachlan all made on-camera appearances in commercials, while current singles from Passenger, Aloe Blacc, Afrojack, Ane Brun, N.A.S.A. and Capital Cities all served as the soundtrack to others.
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It was arguably the closest the Super Bowl has come yet to matching what you’d hear on a Top 40 radio dial yet, having traditionally been a place where advertisers and publishers showcase classic songs from decades past.
Winning the night in terms of airtime alone was Bob Dylan. His 1960s hit “I Want You” was featured in Chobani’s 60-second spot in which a bear wreaked havoc on a small-town grocery store.
And Dylan himself starred in and narrated a two-minute commercial for Chrysler taking pride in American manufacturing (his Oscar-winning 2000 song “Things Have Changed,” from the “Wonder Boys” soundtrack, provided the music.)
Sales-wise, Passenger’s “Let Her Go” continues to ride the extra boost in awareness it’s received since Budweiser’s commercial debuted online earlier this week. The song was also already a top 10 hit even before it was selected (shortly after the GRAMMYs, last Monday, in fact), so the Super Bowl exposure is hardly the only variable working in its favor.
Other songs that got the synch treatment from Anheuser-Busch’s five ad buys Sunday night were Skylar Grey’s “Coming Home, Pt. 2” (Budweiser), Zedd’s “Find You” (Bud Light Platinum), One Republic’s “Counting Stars” (Bud Light) and Afrojack’s “Ten Feet Tall” (Bud Light.)
Afrojack, however, won’t be reported to SoundScan or show up on iTunes charts just yet – it’s being given away as a free download to 500,000 Shazam users first. Ditto U2’s brand-new single “Invisible,” which was being offered for a free download on iTunes until Monday night in partnership with (RED) and Bank of America, which will donate $1 for every download up to $2 million.
Diddy led prospective Time Warner Cable subscribers on a tour of the service that included cameos by Drake and Jimmy Fallon, among many others.
Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider, the California Raisins, Kid of Kid 'n Play and other icons of the '80s featured in Radio Shack's spot.
Sarah McLachlan sang on behalf of 'Doberhuahuas' everywhere in this Audi spot.
Beats went all-in with Ellen.
GoldieBlox returns from its legal battle with the Beastie Boys to the tune of Quiet Riot's "Come on Feel the Noise."
Reggie Watts performs in a limo for Bud Light's "Up For Whatever" ad, which features cameos by Arnold Schwarzenegger among many others.
Volkswagen, known for having generally good taste in music (though there was a slight kerfuffle over last year's Super Bowl spot), goes with Giorgio Moroder's "Doo-Bee-Doo-Bee-Doo" for this year's turn.
Chevy and the American Cancer Society's featured a perfect backing track in Ane Brun's "Don't Leave."
Spotify makes a guest appearance on Sonos' cool-as-cucumber near-futuristic promo.