The Auto Brands’ Songs of Summer

Data from Songtradr shows how automakers drive brand affinity through music.

The Auto Brands’ Songs of Summer

For brands, picking the right soundtrack for their summer ads takes precise calculation, helping to resonate with key demographics and potential customers.

Data from Songtradr dives into the song choices of the top automative brand spots, from 2023's summer ad season:

  • Ram's "Opportunity" spot, featuring the song "Sun Ain't Even Gone Down Yet" by Brothers Osborne, gained substantial airplay during the summer and the brand capitalized on the song's rising popularity, as its Spotify popularity score increased from 0 to 58 after the ad's release.
  • Chevrolet featured a diverse range of music in its top TV commercials, including songs like "Step On Out" by Pigeon John & Spencer Ludwig and "Live For Days" by Cal Dodds, both of which are recent releases, aiding the brand with exclusive associations to these songs.
  • Chevy then deviated from its usual approach in the "Your Road to Happiness" ad by using the 1999 pop hit "Steal My Sunshine," a high-energy song also featured in several recent movies and shows (along with a T-Pain version of the track being used by Lipton right now).
  • Ford's "Get Out There" commercial featured the 1970 hit "Up Around the Bend" by Creedence Clearwater Revival, a high-energy track that had not been used in TV, movies, or console titles since 2018, but was recently utilized in a co-branded spot by Applebee's and Lucasfilm for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.
  • Hyundai and GMC veered away from country and rock, with Hyundai using the highly danceable "Make Me Feel Good (Alright With Me)" by Todd Carey, La Felix & Kash'd Out, while GMC chose "The Seed 2.0" by The Roots, a highly positive and energetic track that, despite being 21 years old, had no recent use in ads or media, allowing GMC to establish unique brand affinity with its popularity.

In 2023, numerous brands aimed to distinguish themselves with music –even if the song wasn't new – and those who chose recognizable tracks found that energy still remained a crucial factor in generating positive momentum for purchase interest.