When Synching doesn't lead to Charting
In the last week I’ve heard The Heavy’s “How Do You Like Me Now” in Virgin Train’s latest ad and in a trailer for The Big Short, and I suddenly asked myself whether there has ever been a song so often placed across commercials, games, TV, and Film but has had comparatively no chart success? What is it about this song that makes it so popular in the synch world but yet not as much with consumers as a standalone song? I’m sure the band and their label, Ninja Tunes, have reaped the commercial benefits of all its placements anyway, and deservedly so, as they've done an amazing job pitching it to creatives across all forms of media, but whilst we, music supervisors, often use the argument that exposure can lead to sales and chart success, this example goes against that very argument and it’s hard to explain why.
The song has all the ingredients of a hit: Not one but two instantly catchy riffs, provided by the guitar and trumpets, reminiscent of decades past yet timeless,. Lead vocals that oozes in emotion and coolness, and lyrics that millions of us can relate to. If the song had never been placed, it’s likely the song would still spark fond memories in all of us. Its sound is that evocative.
Then, consider where the song has been placed. From box office movies like Ted, to TV Series like Entourage and, in countless promos for sporting events and channel idents. You'd be hard pressed not to have come across this tune at some point. Perhaps, we’ve taken it for granted somehow and no one has found the need to own it.
What is certain, at least in my humble opinion, is that "How Do You Like Me Now" is a brilliant song that music supervisors, film makers, advertising creatives, games publishers, TV Producers, and Trailer Houses can't get enough of and hope more will come from the band with their new album. So if you're not quite sure what song I'm talking about yet, here it is for your listening pleasure and don't be surprised if you remember "seeing it" somewhere
I’d love to hear from anyone who can come up with other songs that have been placed that often but without any real chart success.