Best of TV Ad Music 2011

Welcome to our annual run-down of the most popular TV Ad Music of the year. Below are the ten most requested, most viewed, and most downloaded tracks and adverts of 2011. Did your favourite make it into the top ten?

2011 saw us celebrate the tenth anniversary of TVAdMusic.co.uk. If you haven’t already seen it, please do check out our special Best of TV Ad Music 2001-2011 feature. And don’t forget that you can keep up with all the latest TV Ad Music by following us on Twitter or liking us on Facebook.

***

#10: LOVEFiLM – Higher Love
Music: James Vincent McMorrow – Higher Love

Download James Vincent McMorrow – Higher Love from iTunes
Download James Vincent McMorrow – Higher Love from Amazon

Our 2011 countdown begins with this LOVEFiLM ad, which began airing in October and swiftly became one of the most requested on the site. The track is a stripped-down cover of Steve Winwood’s 1986 hit Higher Love, performed by James Vincent McMorrow. It’s available on a compilation of 1980s covers called Silver Lining released by Sound Training Records, which is a record label operated by the students of Dublin’s Sound Training Centre, and was also released on McMorrow’s We Don’t Eat EP.

***

#9: John Lewis – Never Knowingly Undersold 2011
Music: The Smiths – This Charming Man / The Selecter – On My Radio / Dusty Springfield – I Only Want To Be With You / London String Chorale – Galloping Home (theme from the Adventures of Black Beauty) / Elton John – Rocket Man / Sade – Smooth Operator / The Kooks – Shine On

Download The Smiths – This Charming Man from Amazon / from iTunes
Download The Selecter – On My Radio from Amazon / from iTunes
Download Dusty Springfield – I Only Want To Be With You from Amazon / from iTunes
Download Galloping Home (Black Beauty) from Amazon / from iTunes
Download Elton John – Rocket Man from Amazon / from iTunes
Download Sade – Smooth Operator from Amazon / from iTunes
Download The Kooks – Shine On from Amazon / from iTunes
Shop for items in the ad at John Lewis

Next on our countdown is a bumper batch of TV Ad Music, served up by John Lewis. This charming ad, kicking off with This Charming Man, takes us on a quick journey through must-have electrical products from the last few decades, including cassette decks, record players, the walkman and internet TVs, and features seven different tracks from the 1960s to the 2010s. “We’ve always been there for the latest thing,” the ad tells us, “and we’ve always been Never Knowingly Undersold.”

***

#8: Twinings – Gets You Back To You
Music: Charlene Soraia – Wherever You Will Go

Download Charlene Soraia – Wherever You Will Go from Amazon
Download Charlene Soraia – Wherever You Will Go from iTunes

This beautifully animated ad represented a change of direction for Twinings, with no Stephen Fry voiceover to be found. Instead, the tea company used a song that became one of the most downloaded TV Ad Music tracks of the year. The track is Wherever You Will Go by 22-year-old Charlene Soraia, and it’s a cover of 2001 hit by US soft rock band The Calling.

***

#7: British Airways – To Fly, To Serve
Music: Helen Jane Long – The Aviators

Download Helen Jane Long – The Aviators from iTunes
Download Helen Jane Long – The Aviators from Amazon

This flagship ad for British Airways was a huge hit with TVAdMusic.co.uk visitors. The track, Aviators, was composed by Helen Jane Long, who has composed music for many commercials in the past. She has released two albums, and a third is on the way, to be released early 2012.

***

#6: Vauxhall – Football
Music: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – AKA… What A Life!

Download AKA… What A Life from Amazon
Download AKA… What A Life from iTunes

“We’re not supporting a team, we’re supporting a nation,” runs the tag-line for this ad, featuring a cast of hundreds, including Peter Shilton, Jack Charlton, and the England women’s and men’s football teams. The track is a single by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, the new project from the former Oasis songwriter. We reckoned that AKA… What A Life! sounded like a Charlatans track from the early 90s, but it was undeniably popular.

***

#5: Audi A6 Avant – Open Road, Open Sky
Music: John Charles Thomas – Open Road (from The Gypsy Baron)

Download John Charles Thomas – Open Road from iTunes
Download John Charles Thomas – Open Road / get CD from Amazon

Into our 2011 top five, and here’s a very accessible piece of opera that generated lots of hits here at TVAdMusic.co.uk. The eyecatching Audi ad features a piece from the Johan Strauss II operetta The Gypsy Baron, performed here by American baritone singer John Charles Thomas. Open Road, sometimes known as Open Road, Open Sky, is one of the most popular pieces from the work.

***

#4: O2 – Priority Moments
Music: Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks

Download Pumped Up Kicks from iTunes
Download Pumped Up Kicks or get the CD from Amazon

2011 was a big year for Foster The People, with the LA band releasing this debut single, Pumped Up Kicks, and their debut album, Torches. Exposure through this O2 ad led to plenty of radio play, and ensured that this won’t be the only Best of 2011 list the band will appear on.

#3: Nikon D5100 – I Am Nikon
Music: Radical Face – Welcome Home

Download Welcome Home from iTunes
Download Welcome Home / get CD from Amazon
View the Nikon D5100 at Amazon

Next on our run-down is an enduring TV Ad Music favourite – by strange coincidence this is the second year running that this track has appeared at number three in our Best of list! It also appears in our ten-year anniversary Best of 2001-2011 list. That’s because Welcome Home (sometimes listed as Welcome Home, Son) has featured in several Nikon ads over the past couple of years, of which this is just one. Radical Face is Jacksonville, Florida’s Ben Cooper, also from the group Electric President. Welcome Home comes from his 2007 album Ghost.

***

#2: Fiat 500 – Twin Air
Music: Amy Macdonald – This Is The Life

Download Amy Macdonald – This Is The Life from iTunes
Download Amy Macdonald – This Is The Life / get CD from Amazon

At number two on our Best of 2011 list is this ad, which first aired back in January. The track is This Is The Life from the album of the same name by Dunbartonshire popstrel Amy Macdonald. The ad aired internationally – the UK version mentions such British institutions as the Congestion Charge – meaning visitors from around the world came looking for this one.

***

#1: Ford Fiesta Zetec – Big Things Feel The Difference
Music: Fiction – Big Things

Download Big Things from iTunes
Download Big Things from Amazon

So we reach the number one spot, and the most popular TV Ad Music of 2011 is Big Things by Fiction from this Ford Fiesta Zetec ad. The ad actually used the same visuals as a previous Fiesta ad, but featured a much more popular soundtrack. Big Things was the second single from Fiction, a four-piece from London. TVAdMusic.co.uk visitors compared the track (favourably) to Talking Heads and Roxy Music. Whatever you think of those comparisons, this was undeniably the most requested, most downloaded and most popular TV Ad Music track of 2011.

***

Ten Years of TV Ad Music:

Best of TV Ad Music 2001-2011 Part 1
Best of TV Ad Music 2001-2011 Part 2
Best of TV Ad Music Spotify Playlist