Classic Rock Songs Starred in Super Bowl 50 Ads

Share This:
It takes a flock of sheep to replicate Queen's vocals in Honda's Super Bowl 50 ad

It takes a flock of sheep to replicate Queen’s vocals in Honda’s Super Bowl 50 ad

Super Bowl 50 was fast approaching, and music fans that were disappointed with the choice of Coldplay (and Beyonce) for the 2016 game’s halftime show could still get their fill of classic rock. Sort of. Music by David Bowie, Van Halen, Queen (2x), and Steven Tyler were among the classic rock songs featured in Super Bowl 50 ads.

According to Ad Age, 30-second spots went for $4.6 million to a little more than $5 million. The big game has always attracted advertisers from among auto makers, breweries and motion picture studios who are looking to make an impact that continues on Monday around the water coolers.

One for Audi shows a retired astronaut sitting in his den and thinking of the Space Age’s Golden Years. When his son tells him he wants to show him something, the camera shows a gleaming Audi R8 and then David Bowie’s “Starman” takes over.

Acura was counting on the yelps and whoops of Van Halen’s rock classic “Runnin’ With the Devil” to snag audience members’ attention. The luxury car maker’s 30-second spot had no dialogue, showcasing only the familiar voice of singer David Lee Roth set against images of Acura’s latest high-end NSX sports car, available that spring for somewhere in the realm of $156,000. Licensing a classic rock song by a band like Van Halen can also cost six figures just for one-time use during the Super Bowl. This was reportedly the first time the band allowed “Runnin’ With The Devil” to be used for licensing purposes.

Acura reportedly considered many different songs before settling on Van Halen. “Ultimately we knew that we wanted this to be a rock song,” Leila Cesario, the national advertising manager for American Honda’s Acura division, explained to The New York Times. “The Super Bowl is a big American platform. It needed a big American band that screams excitement.”

And scream excitement it did. “Runnin’ With The Devil” was the second single from Van Halen’s 1978 eponymous debut album. It begins with the sounds of car horns, taken from the band’s own cars, and its lyrics are all about freedom and living in the present – pretty much the perfect choice for a car commercial. Despite all of the classic rock acts that have performed at the Super Bowl halftime show – Tom Petty, The Who, Bruce Springsteen and U2, among others – Van Halen never made an appearance. It wasn’t their first appearance in a Super Bowl ad, though. A year earlier, Nationwide Insurance showcased the band’s cover of “Oh, Pretty Woman” in one of their spots.

Two classic rock songs from Queen were used in different Super Bowl ads that year, both for auto manufacturers. One starred actor Kevin Hart for the Hyundai Genesis featuring “Another One Bites the Dust.” In “First Date,” the funnyman faced the same dilemma that all protective fathers face when their daughter goes out with a new boyfriend. “A dad’s gotta do what a dad’s gotta do.” Point, Hart.

Here’s Queen’s “Somebody To Love” used in a spot for the all-new Honda Ridgeline truck…

Skittles featured Aerosmith’s Tyler for its campaign…

Best Classic Bands Staff

No Comments so far

Jump into a conversation

No Comments Yet!

You can be the one to start a conversation.

Your data will be safe!Your e-mail address will not be published. Also other data will not be shared with third person.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.