Since the iPod first hit the market in the early 2000s, Apple has been famous for helping to break emerging musical acts, and cement the status of famous ones, by featuring their songs in commercials.
Lately, the tech giant has taken a real shine to one act in particular—New York City dance-music duo Sofi Tukker.
The band's track "That's It" (a cleaned-up version of their song "Batshit") anchors Apple's current ad for its Product (RED) iPhone 8. For the second straight week, that spot tops our list of the 10 most Shazam'd TV commercials on the air—with almost 140,000 Shazams in the past week alone.
This isn't Sofi Tukker's first dance with Apple. The band's song "Best Friend" was used in the video unveiling the iPhone X at Apple's developers conference last fall. And way back in 2015, Apple used another Sofi Tukker track, "Drinkee," in an Apple Watch ad.
Apple doesn't talk much about its musical choices for ads. (Through its agency TBWA, the company declined to comment for this story.) But Sofi Tukker—comprised of Tucker Halpern and Sophie Hawley-Weld—have talked about their so-called "sync deals" with Apple a few times.
The band still don't know exactly how Apple discovered their music in the first place.
"We put 'Drinkee' on SoundCloud, and Apple found it and reached out to us, and wanted to put it in an Apple Watch commercial," Halpern told Vulture earlier this year.
After that, the band decided to send all its new music to Apple, hoping for a repeat. Soon enough, it worked.
"They got back to us like, 'We think we want to do something big around 'Best Friend,'" Halpern tells Billboard. "We were like, 'What?! Maybe we should put that out as a single.'"
They had no idea the song would be used in the high-profile Apple X unveiling. "We just knew 'Best Friend' was going to be used for an Apple product. That's all we knew," says Hawley-Weld.
The Vulture story explores why Apple would be drawn to music like Sofi Tukker's, suggesting the lyrics of "Best Friend," including the platonic come-on "You are my best friend/And we have got some things to do," suits the company's toned-down 2018 ethos—in contast to the more provocative, cutting-edge tunes the brand used back in its iPod days.
With "That's It" featured in the new (RED) spot, Sofi Tukker are now 3-for-3 with the tech giant. Sync deals are a fantastic way for a young band to make money, and Halpern and Hawley-Weld see no downside to them—indeed, they don't see it as selling out at all.
"Just the opposite," Hawley-Weld tells Vulture. "I feel like it's more affirmation to dig deeper into our roots and get to know ourselves better."
See all 10 spots from this week's Shazam list below.
The 10 Most Shazam'd Ads of the Week: April 23-29
Track: "Batshit/That's It"
Artist: Sofi Tukker
Agency: TBWA\Media Arts Lab
Track: "The Middle"
Artist: Maren Morris, Zedd, and Grey
Track: "Never Be The Same"
Artist: Camila Cabello
Track: "Light It Up (Remix)"
Artist: Major Lazer Feat. Nyla & Fuse ODG
5) Transitions Optical
Track: "The Sun"
Artist: Parov Stelar Feat. Graham Candy
Agency: Animals Paris
Track: "No Games"
Artist: Stella Mwangi
Agency: Leo Burnett Chicago
Track: "Higher Love"
Artist: James Vincent McMorrow
Agency: Innocean USA
8) Sony Pictures/Peter Rabbit
Track: "Feel It Still"
Artist: Portugal. The Man
Agency: Universal McCann
Artist: The Score
10) Sony Music/Scotty McCreery album Seasons Change
Track: "Five More Minutes"
Artist: Scotty McCreery