The spot was created by ad agency Leo Burnett, and posted Wednesday morning to Samsung's YouTube channel.
Leo Burnett's Chicago-based music supervisor Gabe McDonough negotiated the placement for "Royals" with Universal Music Group for the master recording and publisher Sony/ATV, who reps Lorde producer/co-writer Joel Little. "[The creative directors] had a concept to use an old showtune," McDonough says of the "Annie"-esque spot, "but as we were looking, I was like, 'Wait a minute. There's a new tune that's perfect.'"
'Royals' Poll: Vote For Your Favorite Cover Performance
The song's placement was negotiated around late July, McDonough estimates, and the custom mix was helmed by industry vet George Drakoulis, who helped Rick Rubin sign The Beastie Boys and LL Cool J and more recently has worked as a film and TV music supervisor. "He sat there in the mix and worked with getting all the vocals where we wanted them to be," McDonough says. "He's one of the greats - even going back to those first Black Crowes records he worked on."
"Royals" went to No. 1 on last week's Hot 100, in its 13th week on the chart, while Lorde's debut album "Pure Heroine" is expected to land at No. 3 on this week's Billboard 200 when official figures are announced later today by Nielsen SoundScan. At 16 and 10 months, Lorde is the youngest artist to top the Hot 100 since Tiffany, who was 16 and four months old when "I Think We're Alone Now" hit the top spot for two weeks in 1988.