Music was back in a big way at the Super Bowl Sunday night. Artists like Elton John, Melanie Amaro, Motley Crue and The Darkness made on-camera appearances, while Echo & The Bunnymen, The Cult and James Brown had some of the most talked-about synchs.
All in all, the top four publishing companies - EMI Music, Universal Music, Warner/Chappell and Sony/ATV - each had more than a half-dozen synchs apiece, with Universal leading the pack with 10 songs in nine spots. Warner/Chappell and EMI were close behind with eight apiece, followed by Sony/ATV with six.
"The advertising community continues to prioritize great music as heavily as the comedic and/or shock value of their visuals," said Brian Lambert, EVP/head of film and television music for Universal Music Publishing Group. "It's great to be in the creative business!"
There's no Stallone in sight, but Bill Conti's "Rocky" theme doubles as a rallying cry for Hyundai, filmed at the car company's plant in Montgomery, Alabama.
Echo & The Bunnymen's "The Killing Moon" backs this vampire spot from Audi. '"Killing Moon"'?" tweeted @pattonoswalt. "Well done, Audi. Well done. Did Echo get more $ for that than the Bunnymen? #Superbowl."
Melanie Amaro declares "Pepsi for all!" to King Elton John in this Medieval-themed spot, in which she sings a dance-fied take on Aretha Franklin's "Respect." (Look out for a bonus cameo from Flava Flav at the end.) H&M The Animals' "Don't Let Be Misunderstood" may have been the chosen song, but the boxer-clad Beckham captured all the buzz. @KirstieAlley tweeted, "David Beckham....ahhhhhh....You stole the show....;)"
Bud Light Platinum
Avicii's Etta James-sampling "Levels" popped up in the first of several Bud Light Platinum spots to air during the big game.
Who's the new brown M&M? Why that's singer/actress Vanessa Williams, who became an instant trending topic after word spread of her new voiceover gig. Musical bonus: LMFAO's "Sexy & I Know It" makes a memorable appearance here.
After the apocalypse, there will be Barry Manilow music and Twinkies. At least, that's how Chevrolet envisions things in this Ford-bashing spot, which prompted General Motors' chief marketing officer Joel Ewanick (@joelewanick) to defend his spot to detractors on Twitter.
Budweiser explores its rich history in this spot that fuses The Cult's "She Sells Sanctuary" with raps from Flo Rida's "Good Feeling." The rapper told Billboard.biz of his high-profile synch, "It was almost like I'm playing in the Super Bowl because I'm getting a big payday as well."
That's not Patsy Cline on the supermarket radio. That's country star Jennifer Nettles.
Ferris Bueller's back, and he's brought his famous theme song with him. Yello's "Oh Yeah" is all over this 2-minute ad for Honda's 2012 CR-V, which has already gotten 10 million-plus hits on YouTube.
Not only are viral-video titans OK Go featured in this 60-second clip, titled "Stunt Anthem," but fun.'s "We Are Young" scores one of this weekend's most prominent synch placements. Look for OK Go's Chevy-sponsored "Needing/Getting" music video to debut Sunday night featuring even more stunts.
Kia Optima's 90-second Bowl spot may have supermodel Adriana Lima, but it also has two big music placements - The Chordettes' "Mr. Sandman" and Motley Crue performing "Kickstart My Heart" live.
Samsung Galaxy Note
One of the music-related surprises unspoiled before Sunday, The Darkness' random appearance in this "I Believe In A Thing Called Love"-backed spot got Twitter talking even as jokes about the Galaxy Note's stylus ran rampant.