Billboard & CLIO Music's Top Commercials of the Year, Powered by Shazam
For the second year, Billboard and Shazam teamed up with Clio Music to present three specially created charts that ranked the best uses of music in advertising over the past year. The top performing commercials on these charts were recognized at the 56th annual CLIO Awards honoring creativity in advertising on Wednesday.
Using tagging data from Shazam, as well as sales and streaming tracked by Nielsen Music and factoring in creativity in musical integration, the three charts’ categories -- breakthrough, collaborative debut and classic -- ranked the ads that, respectively, pushed an existing song to new prominence, helped debut a song to the masses or brought new life to a classic hit.
At the CLIO Awards at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, Melissa Etheridge took the stage to present the awards and introduce this year’s winner in the collaborative debut category, X Ambassadors, who performed their hit “Renegades” (up to a new peak of No. 27 on the Billboard Hot 100 dated Oct. 10), as featured in a Jeep commercial for the company's model of the same name. Later in the evening, Salt-N-Pepa performed their track “Push It,” which appeared in a spot for GEICO, winner in this year’s classic category. The top breakthrough track was “Out the Speakers,” by A-Trak and Milo & Otis, featuring Rich Kidz, as heard in a Mountain Dew spot.
Shazam tags, sales and streaming were tracked for spots that debuted between the tracking period of July 2014 and June 2015. Since December 2014, Billboard and Clio Music have also collaborated with Shazam on a monthly list, Billboard & Clio Music's Top Commercials powered by Shazam.
Here are the songs in commercials that made an impact in the past year:
Breakthrough: A commercial synch that helped an existing song reach new heights in popularity.
1. A-Trak, Milo & Otis and Rich Kidz, "Out the Speakers" (Mountain Dew) Mountain Dew kick started A-Trak and Milo & Otis' "Out the Speakers," featuring Rich Kidz, to the top of this year’s list of the biggest breakthrough tracks in music and advertising. The track also topped the February and March editions of Billboard & Clio Music's Top Commercials powered by Shazam.
In the advertisement, titled “Come Alive,” which debuted during the 2015 Super Bowl, Mountain Dew’s Kickstart drink sends bored gamers into a dance frenzy soundtracked by the song. The track was released in May 2014 but reached its sales and streaming peaks following the commercial’s debut. The track peaked at No. 10 on Billboard's Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart and spent a week on the Hot 100 (No. 98) dated Feb. 21, a first for each artist.
2. Imagine Dragons, “I Bet My Life” (Sprite)
The first single from Imagine Dragons’ latest album, Smoke + Mirrors, “I Bet My Life” received a boost as the song was featured in Sprite’s ad campaign starring LeBron James, “The First Home Game.” The clip, released Oct. 27, 2014, celebrated the basketball star’s return to his home team in Cleveland with a pickup game in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.
The track gathered nearly 400,000 Shazam tags between its release and June of 2015. Following the commercial’s debut, the song started on the Hot 100 dated Nov. 15, 2014 (No. 53) and reached as high as No. 28 on the chart dated March 7.
3. Saint Motel, “My Type” (Summerfest)As part of a promotion for Summerfest, an 11-day, 11-stage festival held in Milwaukee, Wis., viewers who Shazamed the song in the ad could win a free one-day pass to the festival, where the band performed. The track led the June edition of Billboard & Clio Music's Top Commercials powered by Shazam with 68,000 Shazams that month. “My Type” reached its peak on Alternative Songs (No. 9) on the chart dated July 9 and No. 5 on the Adult Alternative Songs chart dated Aug. 1.
4. The Orwells, “Who Needs You” (Apple)The Orwells' "Who Needs You" was first released in September 2013, but after being featured in a commercial for Apple's iPad, the song topped the January tally of Billboard & Clio Music's Top Commercials powered by Shazam and debuted on Hot Rock Songs (No. 46). The month after the commercial debuted, the track jumped by 99 percent in streaming. Since its debut, the song racked up 57,000 total Shazam tags in the tracking period.
5. AWOLNATION, “I Am” (Red Bull)AWOLNATION (led by Aaron Bruno) led the April edition of the chart with “I Am,” as featured in Red Bull’s "World of Red Bull” commercial. The act is signed to Red Bull Records, a subsidiary company of the energy drink. Sales of the track jumped 1,537 percent the week of April 19 and the song also sported a 68 percent increase in streams the following week (April 26), according to Nielsen Music. The track has reached as high as No. 4 on Alternative Songs (Oct. 10).
Collaborative Debut: A commercial synch, utilizing a not-yet released song or a track commissioned specifically for that spot, whose premiere helped propel the track to prominence.
1. X Ambassadors, “Renegades”X Ambassadors are no stranger to the Billboard & Clio Music chart, having previously ranked at No. 3 on the Breakthrough list in 2014 with the Jamie N Commons/X Ambassadors track “Jungle,” featured in a Beats by Dre campaign, “The Game Before the Game.” This year, the Ithaca, N.Y., band leads a list, as its most successful song to date, “Renegades,” was created in collaboration with the Jeep Renegade. The band is prominently featured in a series of advertisements for the car. Since its March 3 debut, the track has topped both Alternative Songs and Rock Airplay and reached as high as No. 27 on the Hot 100.
2. Kevin Ross, “This Is My Wish” (Glade) Motown Records artist Kevin Ross wrote the song "This Is My Wish" specifically for the Glade holiday scent Sparkling Spruce. Ross appears in the national television commercial, performing the song, which topped the December edition of the chart. The track also reached No. 3 on Billboard's Holiday Digital Songs chart the week of Dec. 20 and No. 16 on Hot R&B Songs Jan. 10.
3. Axwell /\ Ingrosso, “Sun Is Shining” (H&M)Swedish electronic duo Axwell /\ Ingrosso teamed up with Swedish clothing brand H&M to debut a preview of the track “Sun Is Shining” in a commercial spot featuring models Joan Smalls, Natasha Poly, Doutzen Kroes and Adriana Lima on April 30. The full track (plus its official music video, featuring H&M clothing) was released commercially June 14.
4. Lo-Fang, “You’re The One That I Want” (Chanel)Lo-Fang (singer/songwriter Matthew Hemerlein) created his own version of the Grease classic "You're the One That I Want” for a short film directed by Baz Luhrmann for Chanel and featuring supermodel Gisele Bündchen.
5. Questlove, Charli XCX and Black Thought, “Groove Is in the Heart” (Target)Questlove, Charli XCX and Black Thought teamed up to cover Deee-Lite’s “Groove Is in the Heart” for Target’s Spring Fashion line. The commercial spot debuted during the 40th anniversary special of NBC's Saturday Night Live.
Classic: A commercial synch of an older song that re-engaged and connected with a former audience while exposing the track to a new audience.
1. Salt-N-Pepa, “Push It” (Geico)
Salt-N-Pepa brought their classic track -- and moves -- to Geico, appearing in a commercial that advises, "If you're Salt-N-Pepa, you tell people to push it." The duo offers its sage advice to a variety of strangers in the spot. "Push It," which peaked at No. 19 on the Hot 100 in 1988, saw a 167 percent increase in sales the week the commercial premiered (Nov. 22).
2. Aerosmith, “Dream On” (Adobe)
Adobe celebrated the 25th anniversary of Photoshop with a colorful spot featuring the iconic Aerosmith track, “Dream On,” a No. 6 hit on the Hot 100 in 1976.
3. Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, ”The Creator” (Android)Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth's 1991 hip-hop classic "The Creator" was featured as part of Google's "Be together. Not the same." campaign, gathering over 52,000 Shazams in the tracking period.
4. Blondie, “Heart of Glass (Cover)” (H&M)
Supermodel Gisele Bundchen provides the vocals for this remake of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” in an H&M Spring fashion commercial. The original track topped the Hot 100 back in 1979. Bundchen has sung for H&M before, previously covering the Kinks’ "All Day and All of the Night" in 2013.
In this spot for United Healthcare, a married couple does its best Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey dance moves to the tune of Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes’ “(I've Had) the Time of My Life,” from Dirty Dancing, and it ends with a bang.