You’d be probably be surprised to know that popular music was not used in commercials until the mid 80’s. Until then jingles were pretty much all viewers got to hear, until in 1985, Burger King used one of Aretha Franklin’s songs in a TV advertisement. Since then, the use of pop music in advertising has been elevated to an art, and often serves as an ad in itself for the artist.
If you hear a song in an ad that you like, there are several ways to go about finding out what it is, and downloading it. The easiest way nowadays is to use an app like Shazam or Soundhound, but that’s not to say there aren’t other ways. Before Shazam hit the app stores, googling lyrics was the easiest way to go. That said, where advertising in particular is concerned, there are a few other resources you can turn to, especially if the song doesn’t contain any lyrics.
What’s That Tune?
The UK based site, What’s That Tune?, is the go-to site for music from commercials seen on UK and Irish television. With over 3,000 ads in their database, you can search for specific ads, browse an A to Z list of the ads, or browse those most recently added to the database.
Search results are accompanied by the company name, product, artist, year of release, and links to purchase the MP3 from Amazon or watch the video on YouTube. Surprisingly, the song titles are often left out, but can be found through the Amazon links.
Find That Song
Find That Song is a site similar to What’s That Tune? but instead is not limited to UK/Irish ads. Search for specific ads, or browse their database. Advertisements are accompanied by a YouTube video of the ad, along with the artist and song title, and an iTunes link to purchase the MP3.
Some of the ads on Find That Song are actually not directly available on the site, but rather redirect to the advertisement database, SplendAd, another great resource for information and links. SplendAd features YouTube videos of the ads, and links to download the MP3s from Amazon.
Squidoo is a site that is sitting on a wealth of information, so why wouldn’t music used in TV commercials be included in their list? Thededicated to the topic is divided into three sections – the most recent ads, ads displayed by product categories, and lastly classic ads, all accessible from the menu at the top of the page.
Not only do you get to find out the name of the song, in some cases you can also watch the ad itself on YouTube, and in all cases, download the MP3 from iTunes.
The Squidoo format is not entirely user friendly and can feel a little clunky. In the case of products with more than one ad, you will have to do a bit of digging yourself , beyond the Squidoo Lens, to find out if that’s the song you’re looking for.
It goes without saying that you could always go straight to the source, YouTube to discover the song you’re looking for.
Search for the ad by the product, and often in the description or comments you’ll be able to discover the name of the song and artist.
On the other hand, if you’re curious about the opposite, and want to know if one of your favourite songs has ever been used in a commercial, a good place to look is Wikipedia. Looking up the song or artist that you’re curious about, under the “In Popular Culture” section, you can find out what ads the song has appeared in.
How do you discover and download music from commercials? Let us know in the comments.