How Hyundai Fell in Love With a Haunting Cover of Steve Winwood's 'Higher Love'

Jeep also joins this week's 10 most Shazam'd ads

Our list of the most Shazam'd TV commercials gets some added horsepower this week with the addition of Hyundai and Jeep, which have brought two very different tracks to the airwaves in ads for the Kona and Grand Cherokee. 
 
Hyundai joins the list at No. 8 with its "Long Distance" spot by Innocean USA, which tells the cute tale of an astronaut who communicates with her husband back on Earth—and unlocks his Kona—with help from Blue Link technology. 
 

Long Distance | 2018 Hyundai Kona

 
The commercial features James Vincent McMorrow's haunting, etheral 2010 cover of Steve Winwood's 1986 pop hit "Higher Love." The track nicely suits the spot's space theme, as well as its subdued love story. 
 
"Our creative team had this song on their short list before shooting. It answered our music brief of songs that spoke to 'space, stars, sky, love, high, above,' and other lyrical cues," Monique Kumpis, senior group manager, brand marketing and advertising, at Hyundai Motor America, tells Clio. 
 
"As for this specific version, we all loved the sparse interpretation of a classic hit song. The composition of it allowed us to share our story without the song getting in the way. Ultimately the song set the perfect tone for a long-distance love story on a romantic starlit night. Additionally, the lyrical play of a 'higher love' proved to be a clever thought against a husband whose love is high above him in space." 
 
She adds: "Lastly, it's just a beautiful song that gave us all the chills when we saw it against picture." 
 
"'Higher Love' was always on our short list for the spot," says Innocean creative director Ryan Scott. "Ultimately it was just the most emotive song that captured the feeling in the story as well as perfectly aligned with the pace of the cut." 
 
McMorrow, an Irish singer, originally recorded "Higher Love" for a benefit album to aid a mental health advocacy group. It became a surprise hit, and was once featured in a European spot for Amazon. 
 
"If you're going to do a cover, why would you do anything other than as far away from the original as possible?" McMorrow told PRI a few years ago. "I love that song, I love Steve Winwood. It's a beautiful melody, the chord structure of that song is really complex. When I used to play it on the guitar just to myself, I was always struck by how interesting it was. You don't really hear it in the record because its so poppy." 
 
Jeep, meanwhile, returns to the list at No. 9 with its Grand Cherokee spot "Dial," created by Doner, featuring indie pop duo The Score's 2016 track "Unstoppable."
 

Jeep Dial | Grand Cherokee

 
The ad focuses on the dial on the Grand Cherokee's dashboard, which allows the driver to adjust to various terrain, ranging from "sand" to "rock." The ad later imagines more playful settings for the dial, including "anniversary" and "butterflies." 
 
The Score, who hail from Los Angeles, are no strangers to commercials, having gotten their big break in 2015 when British supermarket chain Asda used their track "Oh My Love" in an ad campaign. The band were unsigned then, but broke big almost overnight thanks to the exposure. 
 
"There is a great backstory, where the manager had the great sense to send the track to all CEOs of major U.K. businesses," an Asda exec told the BBC at the time. "It found its way to us, and felt like a brilliant track to support our campaign." 
 
Jeep is a veteran of Shazam'd ads, having placed a different spot on our list earlier this year thanks to the Imagine Dragon song "Whatever It Takes." 
 
A third new spot on this week's list, at No. 7, is a Transitions Optical ad featuring the song "The Sun" by Parov Stelar Feat. Graham Candy. 
 
The other seven spots have all been on the chart before in recent weeks. Apple leads the way this week with its (RED) campaign featuring the music of Sofi Tukker, followed by Target with the track "The Middle" by Maren Morris, Zedd, and Grey. 
 
See this week's full list below. 
 
The 10 Most Shazam'd Ads of the Week: April 16-22
 
1) Apple
Track: "Batshit/That's It"
Artist: Sofi Tukker
Agency: TBWA\Media Arts Lab
 

iPhone 8 (PRODUCT)RED™ Special Edition — Apple

 
2) Target
Track: "The Middle"
Artist: Maren Morris, Zedd, and Grey
Agency: Mother
 

Zedd, Maren Morris, Grey - The Middle (Official Music Video)

 
3) L'Oréal
Track: "Never Be The Same"
Artist: Camila Cabello
Agency: McCann
 

New L’Oréal Paris Elvive “Comeback” Commercial with Camila Cabello

 
4) Vitaminwater
Track: "Feel It Still"
Artist: Portugal. The Man
Agency: Ogilvy
 

vitaminwater | #drinkoutsidethelines | aaron paul tv commercial :45

 
5) Samsung
Track: "Get Stupid"
Artist: Aston Merrygold
Agency: 72andSunny, MWWPR, R/GA
 

Samsung Galaxy S9 Official TVC: The Phone. Reimagined.

 
6) Alfa Romeo
Track: "Wicked Game"
Artist: Ursine Vulpine Feat. Annaca
Agency: Doner
 

Alfa Romeo Wicked Game | Stelvio & Giulia

 
7) Transitions Optical
Track: "The Sun"
Artist: Parov Stelar Feat. Graham Candy
Agency: Animals Paris
 

Transitions® Light Under Control™

 
8) Hyundai
Track: "Higher Love"
Artist: James Vincent McMorrow
Agency: Innocean USA
 

Long Distance | 2018 Hyundai Kona

 
9) Jeep 
Track: "Unstoppable"
Artist: The Score
Agency: Doner
 

Jeep Dial | Grand Cherokee

 
10) HBO/Westworld
Track: "Heart-Shaped Box"
Artist: Ramin Djawadi
Agency: In-house
 

Westworld Season 2 | Official Trailer | HBO