They are often mocked as the “poodle-haired” exponents of bombastic, 80s rock.
But the likes of Queen, Bonnie Tyler and Europe generated £20m for the British economy last year after their classic hits proved the most-popular soundtracks for advertisements.
Income from music placed in popular British TV programmes, films, adverts and video games rose 6.4 per cent in 2014, generating revenues of £20m for major and independent record labels, music body BPI has revealed.
Legendary rockers Queen emerged as the most “synced” (the licensing of music for commercial uses) act of 2014 according to figures published by online-information service adbreakanthems.com.
The band’s hits were used in major television campaigns by Tesco (“I Want It All”, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “We Are The Champions”), Furniture Village (“Somebody To Love”), and the holiday operator Thomson/TUI (“Bohemian Rhapsody”).
Queen’s songs have remained in the public eye after original band members Brian May and Roger Taylor toured with new singer Adam Lambert.
The most-synced song of 2014 in advertisements was the epic 1983 ballad “Total Eclipse of the Heart”, by the equally big-haired Bonnie Tyler. The melodramatic song has worked its windswept magic on adverts for Innocent Drinks, Toyota and Cadbury.
The second most-synced song was “The Final Countdown”, the apocalyptic 1986 anthem by Swedish “poodle rockers” Europe. The mock-orchestral fist-pumper provided the perfect fit for campaigns from Stride Gum and O2 Priority as well as Tesco’s Boxing Day TV spot.
The 80s is favoured by advertisers since a fondly-recalled track prompts instant familiarity with consumers now approaching middle age.
With recorded music sales in steep decline, stars who once relied upon Tesco to sell their CDs now compete to get their songs used in the retailer’s adverts. Billy Swan, a 73-year-old US country singer, received a surprise boost when Tesco chose his 1974 song “I Can Help” for its Home Delivery campaign.
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Adbreakanthems found that Tesco used more music than any other advertiser, counting 44 “syncs”, including re-recorded versions of Queen’s “I Want It All” and the disco classic “Don’t Leave Me This Way”.
The figures were published on the first day of a trade mission to Los Angeles, where more than 40 senior music figures will meet with Hollywood studios, computer-games producers and advertising agencies, to advocate the use of British songs on their soundtracks.
Most synced songs 2014
* Total Eclipse of the Heart - Bonnie Tyler
(Innocent, Toyota Yaris Hybrid, Cadbury’s)
* The Final Countdown - Europe
(Stride Gum, Tesco, O2)
This Head I Hold - Electric Guest
(Ikea, Ford EcoSport)
* Don’t - Ed Sheeran
(Beats, O2 Priority)
The most synced artists
* Bonnie Tyler
* Ed Sheeran
* Kool & The Gang
* Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett
* Lily Allen
* Little Richard
* London Grammar
* Lovin’ Spoonful
* Run DMC
Europe’s ‘The Final Countdown’ is a favourite among ad agencies
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