Creative The Grammys Creative Works

Music that made the ad: Creative Works special feat. AMV BBDO, Wieden+Kennedy, TBWA and more


By The Drum Team, Editorial

February 10, 2017 | 7 min read

Music has the power to inspire each and every one of us. And in the world of advertising, a well-chosen track has even been known to transform brands.

In the latest issue of The Drum we take a break from our typical Creative Works – which celebrates the best new work from the world of advertising – in favor of a collection of music-led ads from recent years.

Teaming up with Clio Music, we explore the beautiful marriage of music and creativity – and remember some of our favorite Clios winners.

Nicole Purcell, the president of Clio Awards and All Creative World, says: “Music and advertising have the power to launch a brand, create a breakout single or introduce a new artist to the masses.

“Smart collaborations, going back decades, inherently tie these industries together, but in recent years we’ve seen seamless integrations and savvier partnerships blossom.”

Guinness ‘Sapeurs’ ft. The Heavy by AMV BBDO

Grand, Gold, Bronze (Clio Awards 2014)

Chosen by Jada Balster, EMEA marketing director at Creative Works sponsors Workfront:

"This campaign is focused on the transformation of a group of men helping themselves to rise out of deprivation using the clothes they wear. The society of Elegant Persons, or Sapeurs, are the ‘masters of their own fate’. The music, What Makes a Good Man by UK indie rock band The Heavy, helps create a dramatic atmosphere in line with the despair felt at the start of their work day. The lyrics underpin their transformation as they show strength of integrity and character coming together at the end of the day to have fun.

"Both the music and the transformation of this particular unique group of individuals, who are not able to choose what they do but can choose who they are, complements Guinness’s ‘Made of More’ message perfectly."

Beats by Dre ‘The game before the game’ ft. X Ambassadors & Jamie N Commons by R/GA London

Gold & 2 Bronze (Clio Awards 2014)

‘The Game Before the Game’ celebrates rituals of football players, fans and celebrities across the world as they silence their doubts, distractions and fears and prepare for victory before a big match.

Created by R/GA London for Beats, the film features the likes of Neymar Jr, Goetze, Fàbregas and Van Persie as well as celebrity fans LeBron James, Serena Williams and Thierry Henry.

Targeting 16 to 24 year-old men, the campaign took center stage during the 2014 World Cup, placing Beats headphones at the heart of players’ authentic pre-match rituals.

Southern Comfort ‘Whatever’s Comfortable’ ft. Odetta by Wieden+Kennedy

2 Golds & Bronze (Clio Awards 2013)

Southern Comfort and Wieden+Kennedy championed those who embodied ‘self-comfortableness’ with the 2012 campaign ‘Whatever’s Comfortable’.

Debuting with the ‘beach’ spot, the advert features a rotund mustachioed man nonchalantly walking down the beach in nothing but his Speedos and shoes.

Captivating audiences with his confidence, the campaign looked to target ‘insecure’ millennials who were fed up of other brands touting the ‘you’ve got to be rich’ ideal.

Grammy Awards ‘Compton: Witness Greatness’ ft. Kendrick Lamar by TBWA/Chiat/Day

The Recording Academy and TBWA\Chiat\Day won at the 57th annual Clio Awards for their short film celebrating Compton, the city that inspired 2016 Grammy winner Kendrick Lamar and helped make him the artist he is today.

The video features Lamar’s track Alright, which was nominated for Song of the Year, Best Rap Song, Best Rap Performance and Best Music Video, and ultimately took home the iconic Gramophone trophy for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance.

Chipotle ‘Back to the start’ ft. Willie Nelson by CAA Marketing

Grand Prix & 2 Golds (Clio Awards 2012)

Chipotle’s 2012 film ‘Back to the Start’ sees a farmer slowly turning his family farm into an industrial farm before deciding there has to be a better way.

Created by CAA Marketing with film-maker Johnny Kelly, the animation follows the farmer as he seeks a more sustainable future for him and his animals.

Set to Willie Nelson’s version of Coldplay’s The Scientist, the commercial aims to show the importance of developing a sustainable food system.

Silhouette - Apple ft. Jet by Chiat/Day

Gold (Clio Awards 2004)

In 2003 Chiat\Day came up with the iconic imagery synonymous with Apple’s iPod – the silhouette.

Replacing the original iPod spot from 2001 which featured a man dancing alone in his room, the silhouette spots show dark characters dancing energetically in front of brightly colored backgrounds.

Often set to upbeat numbers, Australian band Jet’s hit Are You Gonna Be My Girl was one of the first tracks to be used, with Apple going on to change the style of the ad in further iterations depending on a song’s genre or theme.

Kia ‘This or That’ ft. Black Sheep by David & Goliath

Silver & Shortlist (Clio Awards 2011)

Since bursting on to the scene in 2010, Kia’s hip posse of hamsters have amassed more than 20m views online.

Created by David & Goliath, the original campaign is set to Black Sheep’s hip-hop classic The Choice is Yours and is credited with introducing the band to a new generation of listeners, with Black Sheep’s Dres claiming “the rats made it radical”.

In the last six years, Kia’s hamsters have since rocked out to LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem and Lady Gaga’s Applause among others.

Heineken ‘The Date’ ft. Mohammed Rafi by Wieden+Kennedy

Silver (Clio Awards 2012)

The follow up to the 2010’s award-winning ‘The Entrance’, ‘The Date’ debuted in May 2011 and was created by the same Wieden+Kennedy team behind the original ad along with director Fredrik Bond.

The high-energy story follows Heineken’s leading man as he woos his date on an epic journey.

Shot on location in London, ‘The Date’ is complimented by Mohammed Rafi’s Jaan Pehechan Ho which originally appeared in the soundtrack for 1960s Indian suspense thriller Gumnaam.

Diageo (Guinness South Africa) ‘Made of Black’ ft. Kanye West by AMV BBDO

Gold (Clio Awards 2015)

Guinness joined forces with AMV BBDO to create a film for the next generation of Guinness drinkers in South Africa.

Marking the first innovation from Guinness from within Africa for over 10 years, the film features a wide array of talent, encapsulating the spirit of the brand as a vibrant Ankara pattern is formed by the energy and creativity of the artists featured, all to the soundtrack of Kanye West’s Black Skinhead.

Sony ‘Balls’ ft. Jose Gonzales by Fallon

Gold, Silver, Shortlist (Clio Awards 2006)

A quarter of a million bouncy balls were used for Fallon’s memorable Sony Bravia campaign from 2005.

Bringing to life the brand’s tagline ‘Color like no other’, the commercial sees thousands of multi-colored balls take over the hilly streets of San Francisco.

Set to the soundtrack of Jose Gonzales’ dreamy Heartbeats, the award-winning campaign still inspires Sony ads to this day.

This article was originally published in The Drum's special Grammys magazine.

Creative The Grammys Creative Works

More from Creative

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +