Top Creative Moments for Music in Advertising

This year, Spotify is proud to sponsor the first-ever Entertainment Lions for Music award as part of Lions Entertainment, a new event at Cannes Lions where brands, agencies and entertainment companies can focus on producing outstanding creative work together. This year’s festival is now upon us, and we’re bringing you along for the ride.


Pretty much anyone who has ever watched TV can cite a commercial jingle that is simply unforgettable. Maybe it’s those earnest young people singing together in Coca-Cola’s iconic 1971 “Hilltop” spot, or Apple’s spots depicting dancers in silhouette with iPods against a brightly colored background, including this one from 2008 featuring Jet’s “Are You Gonna Be My Girl.”

Spotify for Brands wanted to know what spots have resonated with the pros, so we asked a few what moments they would pick as the most creative in music advertising. We got answers from Seth Farbman, Spotify’s chief marketing officer; Danielle Lee, Spotify’s vice president for global partner solutions; and Federico Bolza, vice president, strategy, for Sony Music Entertainment UK.

Here are their picks:

Seth Farbman, Chief Marketing Officer, Spotify
Former CMO, Gap, Inc. 

“Jump Jive an’ Wail,” Louis Prima, Gap, 1998

“I wanted to join Gap because it is a solid American brand. Gap was founded in 1969 in San Francisco during the height of its music explosion. One thing Gap did really well was continue the connection between the brand and the culture as told through music. The 1998 Gap commercial Khaki Swing is an example of that culture and is innovative in every way. A commercial had never been shot that way; with a camera technique that created slow motion pauses in mid air. It took what was an almost underground movement of the return of swing and swing dancing and this commercial turned it into a cultural phenom for a period of time. People were taking swing lessons.  Men were willingly dancing with their wives and girlfriends again. Much of that was for this ad that showed couples dancing to swing wearing khakis.”


“Lose Yourself,” Eminem, Chrysler, 2011

“I picked this commercial because I can’t think of another song that could have made this spot as iconic. Eminem for years had rejected advertisers using “Lose Yourself” in a spot. When Chrysler wanted to remake its brand by drawing attention to both the plight and the opportunity of Detroit and turn the problem that was the American auto industry, and this industrial city,  into an anthem of greatness, Eminem said yes. He lent his song and his attitude, and he produced one of the great spots in the last decade or more which reintroduced Chrysler after the auto industry bailout.

In two minutes during the Super Bowl, that spot turned Americans’ attitude from one of fear, and a sense that perhaps our better days were behind us, and a gripping reality of the great recession, to a reminder that no matter what, the human spirit is resilient, people will respond to adversity and we will triumph as a people and as a culture. That spot would only have worked with that song, that artist, and that city.”


Danielle Lee, Vice President of Global Partner Solutions
“Jungle,” X Ambassadors & Jamie N Commons, Beats By Dre, 2014

“This commercial puts music at the center of a powerful narrative about the fierce commitment and dedication of athletes all over the world.  Music is at the center of their training, patriotism, and connection to family, friends, and fans.  It is a brilliant showcase of how music really drives the energy and a story through imagery.”


“La La La,” Shakira, Danone’s Activia, 2014 – La La La starring Shakira

“The commercial serves as both a music video for Shakira’s World Cup anthem and an ad for the Danone yogurt brand. The video was also released as part of a partnership with the World Food Programme, a humanitarian agency.  It brilliantly tapped into the global love affair with the World Cup and also had a great charitable component. It was hugely successful as it holds the record as the most shared ad of all time.”


Federico Bolza, VP, Strategy
Sony Music Entertainment UK Ltd
“The Who Sell Out,” 1967

“My favorite combination of music and advertising is in fact the Who’s 1967 album the “The Who Sell Out.” It was a concept album that made a pop-art statement on consumerism and is filled with musical jingles for real and made-up brands, as well as promoting real brands of the day as part of the album’s packaging as you can see from the cover above.

The reason I think this is better than any actual campaign is that it  transcends advertising to become culture and in so doing is far more effective than anything else. This theme of advertising-as-culture is one that I feel will dominate Cannes this year and I love the fact that the Who had this figured out 49 years ago!”