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Most used music in commercials revealed 

Wednesday 19th May 2010 

Sainsbury’s comes top in PRS for Music study

Music is an incredibly emotive tool so it’s no surprise that it takes centre stage in advertisements on TV & Radio where brands are looking to influence behaviour.  PRS for Music, the organisation that collects royalties on behalf of composers and songwriters, has used its unique data to reveal the top 10 most performed songs / jingles featured in commercials over the past five years.

Top 10 Most Performed Songs in Advertising

Position Artist  Song  Brand/Ad
The Polyphonic Spree  Light & Day   Sainsbury’s Try Something New Today 
2 Nina Simone Ain’t go no – I got life   Müller
3 Elena Kats-Chernin  Eliza’s Aria   Lloyds TSB for the Journey
Take That Shine  Morrison’s
The Noveltones  Left Bank Two  Waitrose –
Essentials Range
Badly Drawn Boy  All Possibilities   Comet – Scooter
Bobby McFerrin  Knickknack    Bupa
Natasha Bedingfield  Unwritten   Pantene Pro-V
Sean Paul  Send it On   Vauxhall Corsa
10 Gotan Project Epoca   Finish Dishwasher Tablets

Source: PRS for Music

Topping the list is The Polyphonic Spree with Light & Day used in the Sainsbury’s Try Something New Today campaign fronted by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.  Sainsbury’s has used various slogans over the years but this was launched in an effort to make consumers venture into purchasing more varied goods.

Coming in second is Müller with their popular TV campaign featuring Ain't Got No, I Got Life by Nina Simone. Launched originally in 2006, it focused on people dancing and smiling whilst eating Müller yoghurts and more recently featuring their Shropshire-based factory to emphasise the closeness of supply from the surrounding area of its factory.

The use of classical music is also popular with high street bank Lloyds TSB and Finish Dishwater Tablets both appearing in the top 10.  A calm piece of classical music can evoke various feelings and moods on an audience and can be seen as more effective when trying to relax your audience.

Famous use of classical music in advertising

Brand  Composer  Work 
Hovis  Dvorak  Symphony No. 9, Opus 95, From the New World 
British Airways  Delibes  Flower Duet from Lakmé 
Hamlet  Bach  Air from Suite 3 in D major 
Old Spice  Orff  O Fortuna from Carmina Burana 
Black & Decker  Rimsky-Korsakov  Flight of the bumblebee 

Source: Internet research – chart in no particular order

The results also cover the most performed jingles – music made specifically for an advertising campaign.  Jingles are popular as they can be tailored to mirror key messages with catchy lyrics / music to make people remember the product or service name.

Top 10 Most Performed Jingles

Position  Brand/Ad
Optical Express 
National Accident Helpline 
Direct Line 
Churchill Insurance 
PC World 
Go Compare Insurance 
Vanish Oxi Action 
Revels – Take a Chance 
Zurich Change Happenz 
10 Moneysupermarket.com 

Source: PRS for Music

Roger Greenaway, PRS for Music member and co-writer of I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing the iconic music used for Coca-Cola said: “Music makes an emotional impact upon people and a well crafted song can lock in the listeners mind for life making it a powerful marketing tool. There’s a split between brands that use specific jingles and those that prefer to sample well known music by popular bands but one thing is clear: the right song boosts an ad and can create a positive association to a brand – gold dust for marketers!”

About PRS for Music

PRS for Music represents the rights of over 125,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK. As a membership organisation it ensures creators are paid whenever their music is played, performed or reproduced, championing the importance of copyright to protect and support the UK music industry. The UK has a proud tradition of creating wonderful music that is enjoyed the world over and PRS for Music has been supporting the creators of that music since 1914.

PRS for Music provides business and community groups with easy access to nearly 15m songs through its music licences. In an industry worth over £4.1bn, PRS for Music is uniquely placed to be a voice for music and music creators. Collecting £621.5m in 2016, PRS for Music is one of the world’s most efficient combined rights organisations. With over 100 representation agreements in place globally, PRS for Music's network represents over two million music creators.

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