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What It's Like When 114 Million People Discover You Over Night

3. iTunes sales jump 8,445%.

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Sure, the Super Bowl's Official Pepsi® Halftime Show™ is the world's most coveted gig in show business. But it's not the only way for artists and bands to crack the big game's life-changing audience of 114 million viewers.

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The ads, which are the real reason most people watch anyway, provide a critical promotional vehicle — and cash windfall — for the lucky few artists who get music placements in them.

Here, representatives for the indie electronic band Hundred Waters, who featured prominently in a Coke ad this year, and DJ/producer A-Trak, who soundtracked a Mountain Dew spot, reveal what its like to have 100 million people discover you over night.

Jacqueline Verdugo
Natalie Cass / Getty Images

1. Finding out that you've been chosen for a Super Bowl ad is as exhilarating as you'd expect.

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"It was wild," says Nicole Miglis, lead singer and keyboardist for Hundred Waters. The band's eerily beautiful song "Show Me Love" plays virtually uninterrupted in Coca-Cola's anti-bullying "Big Game" ad, in which a technician spills Coke on internet servers, causing vitriolic online messages to suddenly become positive.

"Show me no cruelty, though I may make mistakes / Let me show no ugliness, though I know I can hate," Miglis sings. "It's definitely a rare opportunity to expose that many people to your music at one time, so I feel very fortunate and grateful," she says.

Timed to the commercial broadcast, the band released a Show Me Love EP on BitTorrent Bundle that allowed fans to download the song in exchange for a suggested donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

2. But also terrifying because you're not sure how the final product will come out.

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"You have to [trust the company's judgement]," says Nick Catchdubs, A-Trak's business partner and co-owner of their record label Fool's Gold. A-Trak's song with Milo & Otis, the earth-shaking EDM banger "Out the Speakers," soundtracks Mountain Dew's madcap spot for its new energy drink Kickstart, in which gamers — and everything in their immediate surroundings — get the uncontrollable urge to dance. "Any time a corporate entity is involved, it's very difficult for the person licensing a piece of music to be able to manage anything. You kind of just have to put your faith in the people working on it that it will turn out to your liking."

Thankfully for them, the Fool's Gold guys had actually worked with the commercial's director, Keith Schofield, on a music video in the past, and they ended up loving the commercial. "On paper, it could've been really bad, you know, like, 'Grandma twerks!' or something," Catchdubs says. "But it ended up being really cool and well executed. I think there was a spirit to it that was playful and fun."

3. The sales bump that can come from Super Bowl exposure is legitimately HUGE. On iTunes, sales of "Show Me Love" jumped 8,445% in the day following the game, while "Out the Speakers" got a 4,706% boost, the artists tell BuzzFeed News.

"We've never been a part of anything that brought that level of instantaneous awareness to a project," says Mike Feinberg, manager for Hundred Waters. "The song jumped to No. 4 on the iTunes electronic chart immediately."

4. Streams also go through the roof. On YouTube, plays of A-Trak's "Out the Speakers" were up 4,434% week over week, as of Feb. 2. While on Spotify, "Show Me Love" got a spike of 972% in just the first hour after the Coke commercial aired.

Overall artist streams for Hundred Waters were up 731%.

Overall artist streams for Hundred Waters were up 731%.

5. After you've appeared in the Super Bowl, basically everyone you've ever known comes out of the woodwork to congratulate you.

Holy FUCK, Hundred Waters in a Super Bowl commercial?!?!?!?!?!?!

Luis Paez-Pumar@paezpumarLFollow

Holy FUCK, Hundred Waters in a Super Bowl commercial?!?!?!?!?!?!

7:13 PM - 01 Feb 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

"I heard the other day that my grade school teacher is showing the song to her students. I think that's really cool, to see something like that come from your town. I was always a really creative kid growing up but because my town was so small, I never felt particularly encouraged to pursue art. There just weren't a lot of people doing it, so that's my favorite response — hopefully encouraging kids in my hometown to follow what they're passionate about, even if it seems impossible or unconventional."

"You see it immediately on Twitter," says Catchdubs. "'Oh shit, I heard you guys were in the Super Bowl, that's awesome!' For anyone who's already familiar with the song, it's like a nice inside joke, and for people who are just discovering it, they're like, 'Damn, this commercial kind of knocks!' Little anecdotal feedback like that is actually way more satisfying to me on a personal level than any kind of analytics."

6. In addition to the exposure and sales boost, licensing your music comes with a nice chunk of change from the advertiser.

"That goes without saying," says Catchdubs. "The Super Bowl is the biggest ad spend in life, so the fee was certainly competitive."

7. But it's only a drop compared to the swimming pools of money they pay to the network.

"It's not a small thing, but we're not retiring off this, either," says Feinberg. Miglis says the band will primarily use the money to fund their upcoming tour, which begins Feb. 13 in L.A. "Mostly, I hope it makes these upcoming shows as special as they can be," she says.

8. The best reward? Winning some new fans that will support you for the next milestone in your career.

In addition to the upcoming tour, Hundred Waters will capitalize on the new wave of attention with an appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman on Feb. 11.

And on top of renewed interest in "Out the Speakers," A-Trak is promoting his new single "Push" feat. Andrew Wyatt. "I'm psyched for people to discover Fool's Gold in any way," says Catchdubs. "We try and make music that anyone can find interesting and fun, so this was a great tool for that."

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