Super Bowl and Shazam Gave a Career Kickstart to These Fringe Artists

Courtesy of Jeep

Jeep’s Super Bowl spot was scored by Dorr’s original song “4X4ever.”

A Super Bowl TV ad isn't just the prime arena for reviving a classic song -- it also can be a vehicle for song discovery, thanks in no small part to music-identification app Shazam. The proof? While Morgan Dorr was hardly a household name before the game, some 44,000 people used Shazam (based on the total number of user tags from game night) to identify his new song "4x4ever," that was included in a Jeep commercial and commissioned by parent company FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles). Unusually, the company chose a relatively unknown artist, making the spot the only ad on the list that doesn't feature a name artist or hit song. "'4x4ever' was created as an original song specifically for the brand," says Olivier Francois, the company's global chief marketing officer, "because there was no other piece of music that could tell this Jeep story."

Empire Of The Sun Drives Honda Synch To Chart Revival

Branding has revived many a song, but few seem less likely than Empire of the Sun's 2008 track "Walking on a Dream," which has found new life in an ad for the 2016 Honda Civic. The Australian group's tune peaked at No. 6 on the Dance Singles Sales chart in March 2009 but remained mostly dormant until the ad's Dec. 30, 2015, premiere. It has since topped the Billboard/Clio Music Top Commercials chart (powered by Shazam)* with 297,000 Shazam tags during January -- the highest monthly total since Billboard launched the chart in December 2014. It also moved 116,000 digital downloads and 7.6 million domestic streams in January, from 2,000 downloads and 1.7 million streams in December, according to Nielsen Music.

This story originally appeared in the Feb. 20 issue of Billboard.

Super Bowl 50


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.