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Apple John Lewis Boots

Swing while you're Selling - Adverts that have produced hit singles: John Lewis, Sony Bravia, Levis, Boots, Three, Cadbury's, Drench

By Annabelle Collins |

December 12, 2013 | 5 min read

The success of some adverts is down to the story they tell, the powerful message they give or the amazing visual effects. Others use a song so good that it becomes a hit in its own right. We have compiled the best adverts featuring songs that went on to becomes hits as a result. Some are covers, but most have given a song a second lease of life. With Lily Allen this reclaiming the top spot in the music charts this week with her cover of Somewhere Only We Know by Keane for the Christmas John Lewis advert, The Drum took the excuse to take a look at some past releases that have claimed similar success.

Ellie Goulding, Your Song, John Lewis

A good place to start is the hotly awaited John Lewis Christmas advert. In 2010 Ellie Golding’s cover of Elton John’s ‘Your Song’ reached number two in the charts. The cover was unexpected but has become a Christmas hit that is here to stay.

Fleetwood Mac, Everywhere, Three

Three’s dancing pony advert has been on the most shared adverts on Facebook this year but it also gave Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Everywhere’ a new audience of listeners; the song enjoyed a popular revival and reached number 15 in the charts.

Phil Collins, In the Air, Cadbury's

Cadbury’s is known for its slightly wacky adverts but this is one that is particularly difficult to forget. The drumming gorilla single-handedly propelled Phil Collins’ ‘In the air tonight’ to number 14 in the UK charts but it reached number one in New Zealand.

Groovefinder, Ain't Got No, I Got Life, Muller Corner

This Groovefinder remix of Nina Simone’s classic song ‘Ain't Got No - I Got Life’ is probably most associated with the brand its now advertises than any other. It reached number 30 in the UK charts after Muller Corner adopted it.

Fyfe Dangerfield, She's Always a Woman, John Lewis

It would be difficult to contest that John Lewis are one of the best at story-telling adverts and their ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ has been one of the best in recent years. It featured a Fyfe Dangerfield cover of Billy Joel’s ‘She’s always a woman’, which reached number seven in the charts.

Jose Gonzalez, Heartbeats, Sony Bravia

Sony’s adverts are often very visually striking and their 2005 Bravia TV advert featuring hundreds of thousands of colourful bouncing balls in San Francisco is no exception. They picked the Jose Gonzalez’s ‘Heartbeats’ as the soundtrack, which climbed to number nine in the charts, a success it might not usually have enjoyed.

Gabrielle Aplin, Power of Love, John Lewis

Another Christmas hit thanks to John Lewis. Gabrielle Aplin’s ‘Power of Love’, a slowed down cover of Frankie Goes to Hollywood, reached number one in the charts in 2012 after it was used to tell the story of the snowman.

Snap!, Rhythm is a Dancer, Drench

Something a bit more upbeat. ‘Rhythm is a dancer’ from eighties Eurodance troop Snap! was used to soundtrack a dancing Brain from Thunderbirds in this memorable Drench advert. It enjoyed a revivial and reached number 28 in the charts after the ad was aired.

Ernie K Doe, Here Come the Girls, Boots

In 1970 Ernie K Doe’s ‘Here come the girls’ failed to reach the charts in the UK but in 2007 it hit number 43 after appearing the Boot’s Christmas advert. Now one of the most associated songs with a brand

Feist, 1,2,3,4, Apple

An Apple advert can be the making of a song and this was certainly the case with Feist’s ‘1234’. It reached no. 8 in the UK chart after the iPod nano advert aired.

Lily Allen, Somewhere Only We Know, John Lewis

And here's this year's Number One single from Lily Allen as a result of featuring in this year's Christmas John Lewis advert, a cover of Keane's Somewhere Only We Know.

Mr Oizio, Flat Beat, Levi's

LEVI'S / FLAT ERIC I.D. from Mr OIZO / Q.DUPIEUX on Vimeo.

It wouldn't be a proper round up of hit tunes to appear in adverts without featuring this character from 1999, Flat Eric, who was used to sell Levi, and ended up helping the Mr Oizio track Flat Beat that he headbangs along to, reach number one for three weeks.
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