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Super Bowl Recap – 5 Memorable Music Uses

February 9, 2018

Super Bowl Recap – 5 Memorable Music Uses
This past Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles eked out a Super Bowl win against the dynastic New England Patriots in one of the most exciting championship matches in recent memory. For sports fans, it was a dream come true. For everyone else, well, there were commercials! The Super Bowl has become the stage for the biggest, best, weirdest, wildest, and funniest commercials that brands have to offer, and this year was no different. As always, music played an integral role in so many of them – here are five memorable music placements from Super Bowl LII!
Tide/Old Spice
The series of Tide ads on display this year were equal parts hilarious and disorienting, each one following the formula of a well-known brand campaign but pulling out the rug at the last moment to reveal it was a Tide ad all along. One of the spots included peculiar moment that baffled working musicians everywhere. At the end of their Old Spice parody ad, we hear the Old Spice Jingle with the nonchalant lyric “Tide ad” spliced in comically. At first glance it’s extremely odd to see two brands working together like this, especially when one is seemingly hijacking the other’s campaign. But Old Spice is known for their bold, lighthearted choices, and this play on the jingle may have been a genius move, especially if the arrangement included Tide paying Old Spice to use their own jingle. After a month of Tide Pod-related news, it’s been a strange start for Tide in 2018!

Doritos/Mountain Dew
Early in the game, viewers perked up when they saw fan favorite Tyrion Lannister (played by Peter Dinklage) lip syncing to Busta Rhymes’ tongue-twisting verse from Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now.” Not only was Dinklage’s lip syncing on point, the ad featured a striking, fiery visual design and a cameo from Busta himself. If that wasn’t enough, the ad was immediately followed by a complementary version starring Morgan Freeman lip syncing to Missy Elliot’s “Get Ur Freak On.” Whether you love or hate the lip sync craze, it’s hard to deny that these sister spots were executed to perfection.

E-Trade’s ad entitled “This is Getting Old” is a quirky parody of Harry Belafonte’s “Banana Boat Song.” In the ad, elderly people are letting loose while singing “I’m eighty-five and I want to go home.” While Super Bowl ads are often underscored by lush, emotional song covers, it’s been a while since we’ve seen a full-blown parody song, and the result is one of the most talked-about spots of the year.

It might seem strange to see an ad for the NFL while you’re watching the Super Bowl, but the league has had its share of serious problems over the past year, and with this comedic ad featuring Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr., they seem to be making an effort to lighten the mood. In it, Eli and Odell practice their celebrations, and a whole lot more, to the tune of Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes’ “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life).” The spot juxtaposes the softest of 80s ballads with a pair of tough athletes, to memorable effect. And while he’s no Peyton, we get to see more of the unlikely comedy chops that seem to run in the Manning Family.

Not all of the music choices in this year’s ads were winners, and one in particular stuck out to audiences as a bit odd. T-Mobile’s meandering spot featuring a set of diverse babies may have had its heart in the right place. But keen-eared listeners might have picked up on a strange detail – was that a lullaby rendition of Nirvana’s “All Apologies?” Indeed it was. The music seems misguided for two reasons. First, why pay top dollar to license a song that only serious grunge fans will recognize? Second, in an ad full of cute babies – always a fine bet – why feature a song that is commonly agreed to be about suicide? Whatever the reason, it has people talking, and maybe that’s reason enough!

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