It's a good year for music and the Super Bowl. The top four publishing companies - EMI Music, Universal Music, Warner/Chappell and Sony/ATV - are reporting a healthy marketplace for synchs and placements. As of Friday afternoon, EMI and Warner/Chappell had eight confirmed placements apiece for new Super Bowl spots, followed by Universal with seven and Sony/ATV with six. All final numbers are subject to change, since some clearances were still being approved and some spots may not air during their intended positions.
Warner/Chappell's Broitman cited '80s nostalgia as another overall trend, as evidenced by the early attention devoted to Honda and Audi spots. "The old saying that the cycle is 25 years continues to be true," he says. "The 80s have been and continue to be back as well."
"This is a remarkable year, having a certain number of songs and spots in the Super Bowl is something everyone likes to talk about," says Ron Broitman, senior VP and head of synchronization for Warner/Chappell. "When you're a major publisher and you represent a catalog and songs that are associated with certain other intellectual property, frontline artists and bands, it's a talking point."
EMI saw a similar mix of catalog and current in its synchs, including Bill Conti's "Rocky Theme" for Hyundai as well as at least two dance-related spots, one of which may involve a "famous French DJ," per Brian Monaco, EMI Music Publishing's exec VP of sales and strategic marketing. "The dance genre is in the top 40 and hadn't been for many years. It's a big movement right now and some of the brands are attaching themselves to that movement. I don't know if you could say you've seen many super bowl spots by DJs in the past," Monaco says.
Tom Eaton, Universal Music Publishing Group's VP of music for advertising, said demand for this year's Super Bowl was higher than 2011, although many requests came in at the last minute - as late as last week, in some instances. Although none of Universal's confirmed spots have been released online, expect a strong mix of catalog and modern hip-hop - and at least one artist appearance. "I would say that perhaps this year opposed to other years, and in advertising as a whole, we do have a little more hip-hop or current hip-hop."
Warner/Chappell's Broitman cited '80s nostalgia as another overall trend, as evidenced by the early attention devoted to Honda and Volkswagen's spots. "The old saying that the cycle is 25 years continues to be true," he says. "The 80s have been and continue to be back as well."
On the brand side, Budweiser is expected to have at least three synchs - including Avicii's "Levels" for Bud Light Platinum, in a separate spot for Budweiser, Flo Rida's "Good Feeling," each of which sample Etta James' "Something's Gotta Hold On Me." In the same spot as "Good Feeling," The Cult's "Sell Your Sanctuary" will be featured to juxtapose the past and the present. Elsewhere, the piano track from Kanye West's "Runaway" will also make an appearance in another Bud Light Platinum track.
"We know that music is absolutely important to our consumers," Paul Chibe, vice president of U.S. marketing for Anheuser-Busch, tells Billboard.biz. "It's a key emotional touch point and often what will happen in ads is that music will just be an add on. We have made great strides in putting music as the centerpiece in our Super Bowl commercials. For example, in the Budweiser spot 'Eternal Optimism,' the music is a mix of Flo Rida and The Cult, and the point is that you are mixing genres to show that Budweiser is above time and it will span time. There was a lot of thought put into music this year and it's a key pillar in keeping our brands relevant."