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T&F Ad Digger – 6.6.2014

Alongside our own music supervision and licensing work, we keep a weather eye open to catch the best uses of music from brands around the globe, and celebrate the best of the best every week. With football and fabulous summer weather on the horizon, it’s a sports-heavy lineup this week.


Beats Electronics – ‘The Game Before the Game’


Beats by Dre have rather upset the pre-World Cup league table in their all-out ad, fittingly indistinguishable from a music video. The spot is framed in a suitably photogenic pre-game pep talk between rising Brazilian star Neymar Jr. and father, urging him into the right headspace. As the headphones slip on to shut out distractions, the focus widens and the thundering boom-clap of Jamie N Commons and X Ambassadors’ collab ‘The Jungle’ swaggers us through gorgeously shot changing rooms, living rooms, makeshift shrines around the world, through the pre-match psych-up and superstitions of players, fans and a downright ridiculous who’s-who of celebrity cameos.


That the spot conjures all the jitters, determination and thrills of the game without a single shot of a football pitch is testament to what the alchemy of on-point editing and an all-out belter can do – if you do go big (and this is rumoured to be Beats’ biggest-ever spend), let it pay off like this.

Apple – ‘Strength’


In time for the summer exercise swell, Apple focusses on the iPhone 5S’s potential as a fitness aid, coasting over a host of users swimming, hauling themselves up hills, golfing, jogging and generally perspiring in the easy-wear company of the ubiquitous device, as it logs their steps and reps, charts their weight, films their flips and generally acts as all-knowing, non-judgemental health companion – all to the mad fanfare of Chicken Fat, a rather manic 1960s effort penned as part of a nationwide fitness drive and subsequently seared into the memories of a generation of US gym class-goers.


Though the song could arguably limit the spot to a certain demographic – namely American Baby Boomers – there’s a wonky charm to the martial instrumentation, peppy lyrics and choral build which could well carry it overseas. The entertainingly incongruous pairing continues the evergreen trend of pairing richly filmed, shallow-focus modern scenes with much older, often quaint songs, also in evidence in Coca Cola’s Second Lives spot this week.


Youtube – ‘#ProudToPlay’


A different take on the World Cup tie-in, Youtube’s Proud to Play campaign is an example of how well a reinvented number one can drive an ad without a single lyric. As sportsmen, entertainment figures and politicians weigh in with messages of self-acceptance and support from and for gay and lesbian players, mostly culled from assorted existing clips, Katy Perry’s optimism-on-overdrive 2012 pop smasher Roar is used to great effect, pared down to plinky opening keys, booming drumline and revving synthline which unite the multiplicity of clips, giving the crucial quotes room to breathe but retaining its bouncy, overdrive-soaked sunniness – and just see if its original sports-based self-empowerment hooks don’t get lodged in your head anyway.

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