Top 5 current TV ad soundtracks

There are a glut of great TV ads on air in the UK at present.

The following list is my personal selection of ads truly enhanced by their soundtracks.

In the best Miss World fashion, they are, in reverse order:

Number 5 – Asda – Gavin the Gnome

I believe the marketing press about this ad – this is a real ‘marmite’ of a TV commercial, I accept that it will be enjoyed or will irritate in equal measure.

It’s an ad poking fun at Sainsbury’s and Tesco (in the form of gnomes!) and how ASDA go one better – they beat prices not match them.

The Guardian did a review of this recently and expressed disappointment (I’m being nice).

I think they missed the point. This ad is not about acquisition of new customers, this is a reinforcer and Shaggy and Mr Boombastic meet that criteria nicely I think. The current ASDA shopper is likely, more than likely I think, to enjoy this, and have a laugh rather than reject it as a bit strange… ok I do accept a gnome called Gavin in a Mankini is actually strange .. but I think it’s a great ad that neatly differentiates ASDA with its existing customers.

Good on ASDA for being brave and not telling me their bread and bacon is cheaper now than it used to be.



Number 4 – IKEA Beds


This is a gorgeous ad.  Fact.

It’s a bit weird, but I like weird, the voiceover is matched perfectly to a soundtrack that one minute in starts to pump up the volume and the drama. The voiceover is wonderfully coordinated with this soundtrack – it’s a rousing poetic masterpiece … I give you the intro;

“As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces …”

Love it ! Well done IKEA, oh and by the way the CGI is truly stunning too.


Number 3 – Avis


“Lets go fly a kite” from Mary Poppins is the soundtrack and it works so well with this fabulously shot monochrome epic.

No words in the ad, but the use of a car remote unlocking cars around the world with the characteristic ‘blip blip’ is all the voiceover needed to support the proposition of ‘Unlock the world’.

Great art direction, and a quirky, unexpected soundtrack that softens the stark, high contrast, black and white photography … I am a little bit in love with it ! i have a feeling the ‘Musical Theatre’ fans in my family will be surprised and shocked by such an admission, after all it is not Jazz is it?


Number 2 – National Express

A lovely ad for the Instagram generation, just look at those 70s muted tones so redolent of Kodachrome and Ferraniacolour.  Silver Lady by David Soul drives (sorry, bad pun) us along on the journey very confidently.

Just a lovely lovely ad.

The words match the brand essence (ok I know the buses are actually white). I am not a big fan of David Soul but using him as the visual narrator as well as his soundtrack, and using him as at 2014 is bordering on genius as it lends much greater credibility and realism, which you feel must support the brand essence here.

A really lovely feeling ad, that brings home the growing anticipation, inherent in travel, of arrival at home and with loved ones.

A nostalgic treat !


Number 1 – Southern Comfort

This is another ad reliant, like Avis, on soundtrack and visuals. I had to check out the song … It’s “Love me” by The Phantom. A 1958 track.

I adore the coherency (sic) of the opening lines and the idea of sipping a Southern Comfort and lemonade (heavy on the ice please !!).

“Aahh, uhh, let’s go! Uhh
Press your lips to mine”

Then straight into “I can’t wait”.

Awesome choice of track, simple as!

The urgency and driving soundtrack is married to a great piece of art direction I think, like National Express, there is a great Instagram feel about the colours and the style is achingly cool with a slice of humour thrown in to boot.

This is so good I downloaded the track !


There you go … that’s my current top 5 soundtrack enhanced UK TV ads … any alternatives? let me know in the usual way!

14 July 2014


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