1. THE "GLEE" EPISODE
Rarely does the cast of the Fox series cover an unknown song. The series producers took a chance that paid off. After the episode aired in December, the cast's version of the song went to No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. "Glee" music supervisor PJ Bloom told Billboard, "[It] allowed us to show the world we could be an A&R source and break a band."
Said singer Nate Ruess: "'Glee' is such an awesome, progressive show. It opens up people to Broadway, and that's kind of where we're from."
2. THE CHEVROLET SUPER BOWL COMMERCIAL
The band's own version of its song did not make much headway until the ad for the Chevy Sonic, in which a souped-up stunt edition of the vehicle is shown flying through the air to the tune of "We Are Young."
Said Ruess: "It's not like it was used in a cat-food commercial or anything like that. [Chevy] did what we consider justice to the song in terms of the visual presentation. I mean, the car does this freaking epic kick-flip. The song worked really well within that. ... In both cases, they used the song well, and they definitely helped to put the song out there. We didn't think we would ever get put in a trajectory moving this fast."