When it comes to declaring one winner in music during this year's Olympics - the most-watched U.S. TV event in history, Phillip Phillips is the undisputed gold medalist.
The "American Idol" champion's song "Home" vaulted from No. 84 to No. 9 on the Hot 100 last week on the strengths of its inclusion as the unofficial theme of NBC's women gymnastics coverage.. The opening and closing ceremonies also drove a high volume of digital sales and song tagging, with Shazam reporting over 1 million interactions throughout the Games).But when it comes to branding, the Olympics had its own set of winners - from Duracell and Jay-Z to Nicki Minaj and Adidas to a new band championed by Samsung. Here, Billboard.Biz takes a look at five of the Games' most notable music branding moments:
1. Samsung and Leftover Cuties
The Olympics' most surprise breakout band was California jazz-pop outfit the Leftover Cuties, whose song "Smile Big" was featured in a prominent spot for Samsung's Galaxy S III throughout the Games. The exposure was enough to translate into a notable sales bump for the song, moving 1,000 copies its first week of release -- a number that becomes a lot more impressive when you note that the band's name doesn't appear in the ad. Longtime L.A. favorites for their gigs at Santa Monica's Casa Del Mar (Pink's a fan), these Cuties may not be Leftover among music fans much longer.
2. AT&T and Flo Rida, Fabolous and Lil Wayne
Warner Music Group scored a trio of synchs for AT&T's "My Journey" mini-docs profiling Ryan Lochte, David Oliver, Misty May and Kerry Walsh. Featured songs included "Good Feeling" by Atlantic artist Flo Rida as well as Warner/Chappell songwriters Fabolous' "My Time" and Lil Wayne's "American Star." "From big, impactful ad campaigns, to live TV coverage, and even as part of an actual athletic routine - it's a privilege to be able to showcase songs ranging from iconic classics to new compositions for these historic events with the whole world watching and listening," says Ron Broitman, Warner/Chappel's senior VP - head of synchronization.
3. Coca-Cola and Mark Ronson
Coca-Cola's official Olympic anthem, Mark Ronson's "Anywhere In The World," was featured prominently during the telecast, but it's on-site where the song came to life - literally. Coca-Cola and its licensing agency Music Dealers installed a Beats Lab in the athlete village that allowed Olympians to create their own live remix of the song in any genre, from dubstep to bluegrass.
4. Adidas and Nicki Minaj.
The Pepsi pitchwoman is doing double duty for Adidas, appearing on-camera in this ad for the Olympics' official shoe partner. The featured song, "Masquerade," follows in the tradition of her 2011 hit "Super Bass" in that it's only available as a bonus track on the deluxe edition of her sophomore album "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded." Though dance track "Pound the Alarm" is currently being worked as the album's latest single, expect this ad to give "Masquerade" an extra push heading into the fall.
5. Duracell and Jay-Z.
Olympic sponsor Duracell had a pair of impactful musical moments during this year's Games, from its anthem "Champions" featuring B.o.B. and O.A.R. to this commercial marking the official debut of the Duracell Powermat's spokesman (and investment partner) Jay-Z: "Any partnership I'm in has to get to a real, on-point, genius level," the mogul-rapper told Billboard in May. I'm not really into slapping my name on a product. You know how scientists say we have an insane amount of energy that will be saved just by not plugging in? I want to help put that footprint on the world.