Super Bowl 50 Ads: The 13 Best Uses of Music

In order of appearance, here’s our breakdown of the 13 best uses of music in the ads for Super Bowl 50. Check out the list, and give us your thoughts! 

 

1. Apartments.com

When Did It Air?

First Quarter - After Denver went up 3-0 on their first drive

Song

Jeff Goldblum & Choral Singers - “Movin' On Up” (theme From The Jeffersons, original by Ja'net Dubois)

Our Thoughts

Within the first three seconds, Jeff Goldblum quietly intros the familiar* first bar of “Movin’ On Up.” He proceeds to literally move on up the side of an apartment building, which allows the brand to display a wide diversity of tenants, as well as the kinds of apartment amenities some consumers may not even realize are available (did you SEE that shoe closet?!). The brand infuses the ad with a clever dose of relevancy at the end, when Goldblum eventually comes across “George and Weezy” at the very top of the building - only it’s not The Jeffersons...it’s George Washington and Lil Wayne (aka Weezy). 

(*True story - one of our younger team members was originally assigned to write up this ad...he wasn’t familiar with the song.)

MAX Contributor

Rosemary Waldrip (Director of Marketing)


 

2. PayPal

When Did It Air?

First Quarter - After Carolina’s first drive

Song

Demi Lovato - “Confident”

Our Thoughts

By overlaying its advertisement with Demi Lovato's "Confident," PayPal doubled-down on its claim to "introduce the world to PayPal's vision for the future of money." PayPal showed, you know, confidence. For PayPal, aligning with a popular artist like Demi Lovato helped solidify the currency company as a current company. "Confident" isn't the song of 2018, nor is it an oldie. ”Confident” is here and now. PayPal wants you to know it, too, is here and now.

MAX Contributor

Brian Reitz (Marketing Manager)


 

3. Taco Bell

When Did It Air?

First Quarter - During a Carolina challenge, right before Denver went up 10-0

Song

Guns N’ Roses - “Welcome to The Jungle”

Our Thoughts

Taco Bell blew out all the stops for this bad boy, securing appearances from James Harden’s beard, Neymar, and a collection of other recognizable characters. Taco Bell deemed its quesadilla-chalupa combo as the biggest thing since sliced bread, and what better song to prove that point than “Welcome to the Jungle?” This Guns N’ Roses jock jam can overpower a raucous crowd at a stadium, so it could certainly overpower the appetite of even the hungriest of hippos. For Taco Bell, this song selection seamlessly encapsulates the big appeal of its new Quesalupa.

MAX Contributor

Brian Reitz (Marketing Manager)


 

4. Acura

When Did It Air?

At the end of the first quarter

Song

Van Halen - “Runnin’ with the Devil”

Our Thoughts

The three words that come to mind when I watch this spot: sleek, powerful, American. The new 2017 NSX will be built in the USA - Marysville, Ohio to be precise - which is a big selling point for the Japanese car company. Acura really pumps up its viewers by playing Van Halen’s “Runnin’ with the Devil” - an All-American band, during a big American event. The “Oooohs" and the “Ohhhh, yeahhs" of David Lee Roth, along with the red, white and blue background really demonstrate the importance of American built cars to the consumers and to the brand.

MAX Contributor

Valerie Tan (Analyst)


 

5. Quicken Loans / Rocket Mortgage

When Did It Air?

At the end of the first quarter

Song

Battles - “Atlas”

Our Thoughts

More than anything, this Quicken Loans advertisement screams, "Be optimistic!" The company positions Rocket Mortgage as efficient, futuristic and patriotic. The whimsical narration stresses a sense of resiliency, and the fast-paced “Atlas” drives that feeling home. Quicken Loans comes off as revolutionary, innovative, and careful, and that’s exactly the point.

MAX Contributor

Brian Reitz (Marketing Manager)


 

6. Persil


When Did It Air?

2nd Quarter - After Denver hit a field goal to go up 13-7

Song

Montell Jordan - “This Is How We Do It”

Our Thoughts

When you're confident in your product, you keep things simple. Persil takes this notion to heart in their 15 second spot featuring Montell Jordan's, "This Is How We Do It." All aesthetic features, from the tuxedo-clad spokesperson to the subtle use of the 90s Def Jam anthem, are intended to echo the brand's inner confidence as they highlight a recent study from a consumer testing publication indicating the superior quality of their product as compared to the competition. This message truly hits home with the confident tug of a bow-tie and the bold declaration, "Boom." 

MAX Contributor

Patrick Russell (Campaign Manager)


 

7. Amazon Echo


When Did It Air?

Halftime - After the halftime performance

Song

Missy Elliott - “Pep Rally”

Our Thoughts

Being Amazon’s first Super Bowl commercial, the 60-second spot “echoed” well among its 100 million viewers. Amazon demonstrated the ease-of-use of their product Alexa to answer questions and follow commands from celebrities like Alec Baldwin, Dan Marino, and Jason Schwartzman. Who utilized the voice activated speaker the best? Missy Elliott did - when she commanded Alexa to drop her new song “Pep Rally” and got the party bouncing. Way to remind everyone who stole the show last year, Missy, and we’re digging your new track.

MAX Contributor

Valerie Tan (Analyst)


 

8. Fitbit

When Did It Air?

3rd Quarter - After T.J. Ward intercepted Cam Newton, fumbled the ball, and Danny Trevathan recovered for Denver

Song

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins - “Little Demon”

Our Thoughts

I love this ad...not just because of the song (which is really great), but because Fitbit really gets its consumer. The whole ad, titled “Dualities,” explores the tricky task of fitting exercise into a busy routine. The song, “Little Demon” -- a horn-heavy rockabilly tune -- has a playfully frantic sound, which is what many of us feel on a daily basis as we live our lives knowing we need to be more active, more often. With this ad, Fitbit reminds us that we all have a little “fire in our eyes,” and that it’s not just about the heavy workouts, but the everyday activities that contribute to the overall goal.

MAX Contributor

Rosemary Waldrip (Director of Marketing)


 

9. Heinz

When Did It Air?

3rd Quarter - After T.J. Ward intercepted Cam Newton, fumbled the ball, and Danny Trevathan recovered for Denver

Song

Harry Nilsson - “Without You”

Our Thoughts

What food items could we as a society truly not live without? Heinz posits this by way of Harry Nilsson's rendition of "Without You" and an adorable stampede of dachshunds donning hot dog attire and, running in slow-motion toward their respective condiment counterparts. A loving embrace between dog and dressing ensues, warming our hearts and serving as a casual reminder that some things really were meant to be together forever.

MAX Contributor

Patrick Russell (Campaign Manager)


 

10. Honda

When Did It Air?

3rd Quarter - After a Kony Ealy sack forced Denver to punt

Song

Queen - “Somebody To Love”

Our Thoughts

Honda revealed the new feature of their 2017 Ridgeline truck - an audio system that uses the bed of the truck as an outdoor speaker. The car company had (adorable) sheep sing Queen’s “Somebody To Love” in a grassy field after their owner drove off playing the tune through its truck-bed audio. You really can’t go wrong with sheep and Queen. And what a fantastic feature for future tailgate parties!

MAX Contributor

Valerie Tan (Analyst)


 

11. NFL

When Did It Air?

End of 3rd Quarter

Song

Seal - “Kiss From A Rose”

Our Thoughts

In this spot, the NFL whimsically highlights its cultural significance with a parody of Seal's Grammy-winning "Kiss From a Rose" as performed by a collective choir of fans; all born nine months after their respective cities' Super Bowl victories. While the claim that birth rates rise in cities nine months after bringing home the Lombardi trophy may require citation, this ad is a great example of how music-driven marketing can be memorable, emotive, and a spark for some very interesting dinner conversation.

MAX Contributor

Patrick Russell (Campaign Manager)


 

12. Jeep

When Did It Air?

4th Quarter - After Peyton Manning fumbled

Song

Morgan Dorr- “4x4ever”

Our Thoughts

Jeep has a history of building advertising campaigns around songs. In 2015, Jeep was responsible for launching “Renegades” by the X Ambassadors onto every radio station this side of Mars. This time around, Jeep connected with Sony Music artist Morgan Dorr to create an original track about its new 4x4. You might recognize Dorr as the bassist of the mid-2000s power group “Boys Like Girls.” Or, you might not. Nonetheless, this song commands attention and its usage in the commercial highlights Jeep as trendy and adventurous. Also, if Jeep commissioned the sequel to Hamilton, this track would surely fit the bill.

MAX Contributor

Brian Reitz (Marketing Manager)


 

13. T-Mobile


When Did It Air?

4th Quarter - After Carolina kicked a field goal to make it 16-10

Song

Drake - “Hotline Bling”

Our Thoughts

The commercial uses Drake and his song “Hotline Bling” to grab your attention right away. Drake is at a high point in his career, and the song itself is easily noticed, since it has been on every radio station for the last 8 months. Drake comes off as relatable and humorous as he highlights how T-Mobile’s self-awareness makes it different from its competitors.

MAX Contributor

Jarred Goldner (Manager, Artist Relations)


 

When it comes to Super Bowl ads, everyone has their favorites - and these were ours. Let us know in the comments if you think we missed any great uses of music in this year's Super Bowl ads!