There’s no denying Aloe Blacc has had a breakthrough year with his hit single “The Man”… And, now he’s earned an award to prove it.
The 35-year-old Panamanian American singer-songwriter’s track earned a CLIO Award in the Breakthrough category, which honors a commercial synch that helps an existing song reach new heights in popularity.
The CLIO Awards honor creativity in advertising, Billboard and Shazam teamed up to create three charts that honor the best uses of music in advertising over the past year.
Using tagging data from Shazam, as well as sales, airplay and streaming tracked by Nielsen Entertainment and factoring in creativity in musical integration, the three charts- Breakthrough, Collaborative Debut and Classic– rank the ads that either pushed an existing song to new prominence, helped debut a new song to the masses or brought new life to a classic hit.
At the October 1 ceremony hosted by Whoopi Goldberg in New York City, Blacc performed the Breakthrough category top track, “The Man,” a song featured in a series of commercials for Beats by Dre, which helped launch it into the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100.
In the commercial, professional athletes tune out the noise of angry fans, television commentators and persistent reporters with the sound of Blacc’s “The Man” in the series of commercials for Beats headphones titled “Hear What You Want.” The first ad featuring NBA player Kevin Garnet of the Brooklyn Nets debuted in December 2013, becoming a key factor in propelling Blacc and his track to No.8 on the Billboard Hot 100 just four months later, his highest position as a soloist. Subsequent spots included NFL players Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers and Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks.
The song has sold nearly 2.5 million U.S. downloads cumulatively, according to Nielsen SoundScan. In February of this year, Blacc told Billboard Jimmy Iovine personally called him to ask if he could use “The Man” in the commercials, and that the singer-songwriter was “ecstatic” with the finished product.
But Blacc isn’t the only Latino earning a little love from the Clio Awards…
Pitbull’s collaboration with Austin Mahone, “Mmm Yeah” was honored in the collaborative debut category, which highlights a commercial synch, utilizing a not-yet released song or a track commissioned specifically for that spot, whose premiere helped propel the track to prominence.
Mahone’s highest charting single to date, “MMM Yeah,” featuring Pitbull, appeared in a spot for Aquafina FlavorSplash that premiered during the 2014 Grammy Awards.
The track was released the night before the telecast, and sold 70,000 copies in just over 24 hours, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Release-to-date sales currently stand at over 700,000 downloads. “MMM Yeah” debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 60 and reached a peak of No. 49 in May.