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Beatle Songs in TV Commercials

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But to obtain the the rights to use a Beatle song, even if the song is a cover and not the Beatles, is an expensive part of the ad. In the recent movie, Yesterday, where some 17 Beatle songs were used in cover recordings, the cost was a whopping $10,000,000. This was even before filming and other production costs.

Advertisers started using Beatle songs in the mid-80s, almost all were covered. Ford-Mercury used, Ticket to Ride (1965) in their car ads and then Nike went all out in the late 80's to advertise their Air Jordan brand by using the original 1968 recording by the Beatles' Revolution. This song would cost $500,000 alone to use. At the time, Michael Jackson received $250,000 of it since he owned the rights to all their material then, the balance went to the Beatles. It is was great song to use to promote their brand until the early 90's. Many teens then were introduced to the band in this manner then and a whole other generation discovered how great they were.

The Beatle's, Come Together (1969), first was used in a political ad way back then but has been used recently in Google ads. In fact Google seems to love Beatle tunes. Besides the Beatles Come Together song, their ads have used, Help! (1965) from their second movie, Ticket to Ride (1965), and even in 2020, their ads use, All Together Now (1968) from their Yellow Submarine movie soundtrack.

At Christmas time, other advertisers use, From Me to You (1963), She Loves You (1964), or All You Need is Love (1967). These tunes are perfect for Hallmark Cards or some sort of warm and fuzzy feeling. Of course, unless you are a Beatlemaniac or grew up listening to them via parents or grandparents records, you will never know you are listening to a Lennon-McCartney song because they are not the original recordings yet they are still catchy.

Another popular Beatle song used in car ads from time to time is their signature, Drive My Car (1965) rocker that even cover bands seem to love playing. Many times in the ad, the music is just a chorus or other section used to catch the buyer's attention. For instance, in the recent Google ad, only the chorus is used from the song, All Together Now.

Whatever the costs are to use a Beatle song in a product ad, even when it is just a cover, advertisers feel it is well worth it simple because a buyer will have a high chance of recognizing the song but even if they do not, the tune will literally stay in their head. That is Beatle power.


Liz Westwood from UK on August 15, 2020:

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I was interested to read this article, as recently we have had reports of music artists complaining about politicians using their songs at political rallies. Better to see your song used in an ad for a product or service than by a politician.

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