How Apple’s AirPods Ad Brought Marian Hill into the Mainstream

Samantha Gongol and her cohort Jeremy Lloyd, the duo that make up Marian Hill, told the Observer that they are still processing the mainstream smash their single “Down” has become, thanks to Apple’s iPhone 7 + AirPods ad featuring the song, which made it go viral upon its premiere and soon took the duo to the top of the iTunes charts. “We did not make ‘Down’ with the intention that it would be this runaway single,” said Gongol.

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For the duo, the sudden success of “Down” is the result of years of groundwork with a variety of viral singles behind them. The irony of the piano-driven “Down” is that Lloyd initially tried to stay away from even using the instrument in the first place. “I thought using a piano was cheesy so much of the time,” he remembers of the song’s origins. 

“We were pretty cautiously optimistic when we heard Apple chose ‘Down,’ ” notes Lloyd. “We have had songs in big commercials before and they’ve done decent things for us. For Apple, there were definitely people around us who were like, ‘This is going to be huge!’ But we’ve been around the block and just wanted to see how it played out.”

Featuring the dancer Lil Buck, the black-and-white spot that premiered earlier this year, showcases Buck shimmying down the street and up the sides of buildings, all to the tune of “Down”. Here it is once again: