Most used music in commercials revealed

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

  1. The Polyphonic Spree,  Light & Day Sainsbury’s Try Something New Today 
  2. Nina Simone, Ain’t go no – I got lifeMüller
  3. Elena Kats-Chernin,  Eliza’s Aria Lloyds TSB for the Journey
  4. Take That, Shine Morrison’s
  5. The Noveltones,  Left Bank Two Waitrose Essentials Range
  6. Badly Drawn Boy,  All Possibilities  Comet Scooter
  7. Bobby McFerrin,  Knickknack Bupa
  8. Natasha Bedingfield,  Unwritten Pantene Pro-V
  9. 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

  1. Hovis - Dvorak Symphony No. 9, Opus 95, From the New World 
  2. British Airways Delibes Flower Duet from Lakmé 
  3. Hamlet Bach Air from Suite 3 in D major 
  4. Old Spice Orff O Fortuna from Carmina Burana 
  5. 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

  1. Optical Express 
  2. National Accident Helpline 
  3. Direct Line 
  4. Churchill Insurance 
  5. PC World 
  6. Go Compare Insurance 
  7. Vanish Oxi Action 
  8. Revels – Take a Chance 
  9. Zurich Change Happenz 

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!"
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