Sound familiar? The best advert songs of all time


Adverts can be awful, full of cringey jokes and poorly made puns. I know I usually swap to another channel when they come on, preferring to watch anything (even Bargain Hunt or Keeping Up with the Kardashians) in order to avoid the four minutes of promotion that inevitably come up. Yet sometimes adverts can be funny or touching and that, I feel, is largely down to the music. So here I’ve compiled the list of the best songs from adverts.

I’m going to start of with the obvious: the John Lewis Christmas adverts. I know many people who aren’t afraid to admit that they’ve shed a tear at these, and the music used nearly always tops the charts. There’s been the beautiful ‘Power of Love’ by Gabrielle Aplin, and Slow Moving Millie’s cover of The Smith’s classic ‘Please Please Please, Let Me Get What I Want’; but neither of these renditions can come close to Ellie Goulding’s poignant cover of ‘Your Song’. This cover was huge, reaching number 2 in the charts and even being performed at Will and Kate’s royal wedding reception for their first dance! Can’t really get much better than that.

A classic. Now more commonly known as ‘The Muller Song’, next up is ‘Ain’t Got No/I Got Life’ by Nina Simone.  Released in 1968, it’s now the second most performed song in tv advertising due to it’s use in Muller adverts!

Now for something much more recent, this is the Peugeot 2008 Crossover advert, featuring ‘Home’ by – band Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes. The band are planning to re-release the track on the 2nd of September, probably due to the success it’s had through the advert!

E.ON Energy have always used amazing songs in their adverts. A few years ago they used the Broadcast 2000 track ‘Get Up And Go’ (which was also used in a Scandinavian Volvo advert), but their most recent triumph was the use of ‘Ho Hey’ by the American folk rock band The Lumineers.  The advert features various family settings, with the feel good song playing in the background, and through their use of the track The Lumineers soared to number 8 in the UK singles chart.

This is a track that people may have not have realised was used in an advert. Long before the success of Thriftshop, the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis track, ‘Can’t Hold Us’ was used in a Miller beer advert.

The ‘I Am Part of The World, I Am Nikon’ advert has been on our screens for several years now, but that’s unsurprising as it’s a great, emotive advert with the perfect song to match. ‘Welcome Home’ by Radical Face is next on our list, and you need only watch the advert to see why.

Going back to 2001, it’s the Vodafone ‘How are you?’ advert. Using The Dandy Warhol’s track ‘Bohemian Like You’, it’s a classic bit of advertising.

And the list wouldn’t be complete without this; it’s the Cadbury advert that uses Phil Collins ‘In The Air Tonight’. Featuring a gorilla drumming to the classic song, it was part of a £6.2m campaign for Dairy Milk launched in 2007. The public opinion of Cadbury had been slipping in the few years run up to this advertising campaign (what with several of their lines being found to contain salmonella, and other such mishaps); but with the use of Phil Collins and a gorilla, they managed to secure what is one of the greatest adverts of all time. There’s a separate Wikipedia page just for this advert, and over 70 individual fan groups of the advert on facebook! So check it out:

So there is eight of the best songs from adverts. What do you think of these classics, and which of your favourite advert songs have we missed out? Let us know in the comments below!


About Author

Snack queen and entertainment journalist. Records Editor 2014-2015 & News Editor 2013-2014 for The Edge.


    • Hannah Mylrea on

      awhh man that’s a classic! There’s so many great songs I had to miss out, like the use of Heartbeats by Jose Gonzalez in the Sony Bravia bouncy balls advert!

  1. A current tine is M83’s Midnight City which is being used by Renault for promoting their car the Captur.
    A good article though. Most of my music collection seems to be from songs I pick up on the adverts!

  2. Rebecca Marett on

    Really good article, brought back some memories. A good idea for a quiz I thought. My favourites that you’ve missed out are:

    Peugeot 206 (Hasan – Bangra Knights)
    Cadbury (Phil Collins – in the air tonight)
    Virgin airlines (Francis goes to Hollywood – relax)
    Lynx (room 5- make love)

  3. Brilliant

    can you remember which advert had this song -:

    I’m sticking with you, coz I’m made up of glue
    anything that you may do i’m gonna do to.

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