It was another healthy synch marketplace for the Super Bowl this year. The top three publishers reported a combined 24 synchs placed in the Big Game, with nine for Universal, eight for Sony/ATV and seven for Warner/Chappell (Kobalt, the fourth largest publisher, also scored one for Budweiser with Stevie Nicks’ “Landslide”). Although that total was slightly down from 2012, the combination of on-camera synchs (Flaming Lips, Stevie Wonder and PSY all made appearances alongside their songs) and rare uses of catalog classics (Supertramp’s “Give A Little Bit,” Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy For The Devil” and an update of Sam & Dave’s “Hold On I’m Comin’”) made this a strong, diverse year for music.
Fun.’s “We Are Young,” the breakout synch of Super Bowl 2012, even made an unexpected return this year via “Viva Young,” a Spanish-language take for Taco Bell. “We’ve never had this happen with the same song two years in a row...It just shows the sustained cultural relevance of the song,” says Dave Pettigrew, senior VP-licensing at the song’s co-publisher Warner/Chappell. “It’s interesting. The first year you had it being this anthem for young kids in their late teens and 20s. Now you got it in this Taco Bell spot with people at the end of their lives going out to do their thing.”
Several synchs were unconfirmed until they aired Sunday night — as Brian Lambert, Universal’s exec VP-film and television music, can attest. Both Coca-Cola’s use of “Give A Little Bit and Toyota’s re-record of Dire Straits’ “Money For Nothing” were Game Night surprises, giving the publisher an unexpected boost. “The whole goal of the advertiser is to get the attention of people, whether their eyes are glued to the TV or their back is turned, and having a great song really helps with that,” he says.
And though advertisers are paying upwards of $3.7 million just to air their spot during the big game, major synchs can fetch anywhere from $100,000 to upwards of $1 million, depending on the artist, number of territories airing the ad, the length of the commercial "flight," or airtime, and whether the song has been synched previously.
One synch likely on the upper tier of that spectrum is Stevie Nicks’ “Landslide,” which was commercially licensed for the very first time for Budweiser’s Clydesdale spot, which debuted online early Thursday. “We knew she was very protective,” Paul Chibe, Budweiser’s VP of marketing, says of Nicks’ tentative approach to synchs, “but when she saw the script she felt it was an appropriate presentation, that it was an elevation of the music and not something that would take away from it.”
Budweiser also generated buzz for its new Black Crown beer with two spots from ad agency Translation synched with indie rock — the SoHo Dolls’ “Stripper” in one, Peter Bjorn & John’s “Second Chance” in the other. “Our music strategy is about discovery and reintroduction,” Chibe added.
And as for that lengthy post-Half Time blackout, advertisers aren’t expected to be impacted by the delay. “All commercial commitments during the broadcast are being honored,” Jennifer Sabatelle, VP-communications of CBS Sports, said in a statement of the incident.