Music is always the solution.

Hi everybody,

In this week off, I had time to think about my self-experience with the consumer world and I became aware of the fact that I’m extremely sensitive to ads music. When I say sensitive, I mean I have a serious problem with this noisy, repetitive, addictive music that is a characteristic feature of a great number of television commercials.

I started to think about that while I was writing my assignment. Even if I try with all myself to concentrate on the work, I can’t stop singing the background music of One Direction’s fragrance ad, which starts every time I decide to watch a video on Youtube.

It was completely stronger than me; I kept going on singing for all day.

So, I started to get involved in this topic. Reading some papers, I realized that music has an intense power on consumers’ attitudes.

One of the first articles I read is written by Kellaris, Cox & Cox (1993) who try to investigate how music could affect consumer ad’s processing. They focus on two particular elements: the music’s attention-gaining value, which is the attentive level aroused by music and the music’s message congruency: the relation between the information conveyed by music and the one of the ad’s message. The two authors find out that the increase of the attention-gaining value of a message-congruent music will increment the recall of the information because they’re similar with the ones passed by verbal communications in the ad. On the other hand, raising the audience attention of music, which has an incongruent message respect the one passed with spoken words, doesn’t increase the recall and recognition ability of the consumers.It happens because, in the first situation, the information is represented in both verbal and non-verbal way, while, in the second case, the verbal message and the non-verbal one are different.

So music can actually affect our way to elaborate the ad but how can we manipulate it in order to have a more effective advertisement?

Sidney Hecker underlines the importance of the jingles for the modern advertisements and tries to find out all the elements that could make music for advertisements much more effective. She starts to highlight that the good jingles have a neat aim and a reward for its listeners. In fact, for instance, in the Fritos Corn Chips ad, the music tries to enjoy the consumers and to lead the feelings of fun and joy, which is usually caused by this very product. So, in this case, the aim is to enhance good feelings in the audience and the reward for the consumers is to feel the sense of fun and excitement while listening to the ad’s music.

She points out some aspects that music should bring in the advertisements. These are:

  • Background: the music in this case has to be made just to improve the power of the ad’s message;
  • Excitement: music for television or radio’s ad should bring emotion in the consumers and it should give them a reason to remain tune for the selling information;
  • Relaxation: is the case for particular kind of product such as pain remedies;
  • Empathy: the ad could became part of consumer’s life through music;
  • Attention: music could increase attention towards the product;
  • News: when a new product has to be sold, the music could help the communication designing an “announcement” atmosphere;
  • Imagery: music could help to build a long-term personality.

Moreover, the author identifies some efficacious technique to use in order to create more effective ads, such as poetry (rhymes could positively influence the ad attitude); repetition (simple sentences continuously repeated increase the ad recall); humour, sex appeal and so on.

Even in another article, titled “Music, Mood and Marketing”, the author underlines what are the music’s elements that have much more influence on people.

The author finds out three main elements that could influence music’s perception and these are: time, pitch and texture.

Regarding time, the author states that when the music’s tempo is slow, the listeners feel much more relaxed respect when the tempo is faster. Secondly, when the “phrasing” of the music is “staccato” the listeners have a sense of anxiety, energy, when the music is legato, the perception is more peaceful and fantastic.

The other element considered is the pitch. The author states that the higher is the pitch, the more appealing and cheerful the music is sensed.

Finally the texture, one of the dimensions related with this characteristic is volume and the findings in this field point out that louder music elicits feeling of triumph, while the slower one is perceive as more graceful and calm.

All of these elements could be used to create an effective music background for the advertisements.  In fact, as Stewart and Furse (1986) state there’s a significant correlation between the auditory memory device (a brain function related with music) and the recall and comprehension of advertisements.

Don’t worry, the Christmas topic is coming soon….


One thought on “Music is always the solution.

  1. Álvaro Hernández says:

    Great blog entry Emma 🙂 I really liked it ! I too find myself completely addicted to music which is why I live connected to my mp3 as much as possible. Music truly is a strange thing at least for me, when I listen to music I experience deep emotional feelings that run around my body. I read a paper recently on music and how some individuals don´t seem to get the deep emotional reactions that we get or as they say strong emotional arousal ( physical chills ) when they listen to music (Salimpoor, Benovoy, Longo, Cooperstock & Zatorre 2009) . Music has a big effect on our emotional levels and is therefore an important tool in marketing but maybe more for some individuals than for others?

    Salimpoor, V. N., Benovoy, M., Longo, G., Cooperstock, J. R., & Zatorre, R. J. (2009). The rewarding aspects of music listening are related to degree of emotional arousal. PloS one, 4(10), e7487.


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