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7 Times Film Ads Smashed the Soundtrack

Great film advertising isn't just about how it looks – sometimes, a killer soundtrack is what pushes something to Pencil level.

For some ads, it's about making the most of an existing classic (think Levi's Laundrette and Marvin Gaye), while others have made their mark with new versions of much-loved songs. There's also the mavericks, who ignore the charts altogether and record their own track, sometimes with wild results (who can forget Old Spice's Wood Pencil-winning Momsong).

So get your headphones on for a special sonic tour of our archive.

Make Every Yard Count

Chants, breaths and screams were all recorded and transformed into the soundtrack for JWT India's Make Every Yard Count for Nike – which also used over a thousand images from a crowdsourced image bank, created by amateur sports photographers

Agency: JWT India
Client: Nike India
Graphite Pencil / Film Advertising / TV Commercials / 2015

Slow The Pace

BBH London took things slow for this Heineken ad, drafting in none other than Motorhead to perform their legendarily manic Ace of Spades at half the normal speed.

Agency: BBH London
Client: Heineken UK

Graphite Pencil / Film Advertising Crafts / Use of Music for Film Advertising / 2011

This Girl Can

A list of ads with killer soundtracks wouldn't be complete without FCB Inferno's This Girl Can, which not only revolutionised the way adland speaks to women about sport and exercise, but did it using Missy Elliott's contemporary Classic Get Ur Freak On.

Agency: FCB Inferno
​Client: Sport England

Wood Pencil / Film Advertising / TV Commercials / 2015



The premise for this MacBook Air ad by TBWA\Media Arts Lab was simple – show the myriad ways Apple owners personalise their laptops. However it's the Hudson Mohawke track that really brings this “graphic celebration of love” to life.

Agency: TBWA\Media Arts Lab
​Client: Apple

Wood Pencil / Film Advertising / TV Commercials / 2015


Tick followed tock followed tick followed tock… it's a line that advertising has immortalised, but Abbot Mead Vickers.BBDO's Surfer wouldn't be complete without the bassy soundtrack of Leftfield's Phat Planet.

Agency: Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO
​Client: Guinness

Yellow Pencil / TV & Cinema Advertising / Cinema Commercials – Individual / 2000


Kool and The Gang's Celebrate gets a grim new cover version by the emergency services in AMV BBDO's film for the Department of Transport, which raises awareness of drink driving accidents.

Agency: AMV BBDO
​Client: Department for Transport

Graphite Pencil / Film Advertising Crafts / Use of Music for Film Advertising / 2015


Mr Oizo's Flat Beat is as much the star of Bartle Bogle Hegarty's Levi's ad, as its bright yellow puppet, Flat Eric. The Flat Beat single went on to sell millions, and spent two weeks at number in in 1999, although its creator Quentin Dupieux was modest about his achievement, saying, “It was a cool piece of music for the puppet, but I don't get the success of it at all. It was just a stupid loop.”

Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Client: Levi Strauss

Graphite Pencil / TV & Cinema Advertising Crafts / Use of Music / 1999

If you think you have a campaign that deserves a Pencil, enter your work into the D&AD Awards and see if our judges agree. When it comes to awards, nothing matters more.

For more creative inspiration and the opportunity to get up close and personal with the world’s best design and advertising, join us at D&AD Festival.

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