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Does music effect advertising? How can music effect advertising?

Music is a relevant component in the development of media for advertising.


Its prevalence in advertising indicates value. Surely producers wouldnt
spend their budget on something superficial, Would they?

For detailed research on the effects of music on preference, read this article.
Its about classical conditioning, use of music, and impact on opinion. I have
highlighted points I found interesting.
CLICK HERE

Proving that perceptions can be swayed by intelligent use of music, lets


consider the application. For people producing advertisements the best advice
I have is avoid your personal bias/tastes. Just because you love classical or
hip-hop or band-X, does not mean you should use that music for your
advertisement. Its got to be more about what works for the message and
target audience.

How it works
Music is both physical and emotional stimuli. Anyone can quickly determine
if the music is energetic, sad, happy, funny, etc. We all have a catalog of
musical experiences and an ability to draw on those to determine subtext. The
physical impact of music comes from our nervous systems designed
response to sounds. When things shift from quite to loud with a thunderous
impact, it focuses our attention.

Watch this commerical, first without sound and then again with the sound on.

The music is Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. Its a classical work that invokes
intensity using percussive text and punctuated percussion. For me, the first
viewing without sound doesnt have any impact. Adding sound causes the
video to take an intended shape and dramatic impact. The clock has more
punch with sounds synchronized to motion. The athletes develop greater
action/tension/drama with the music. Their motion is punctuated.

This video is cut to the music by the editor. The editor synchronizes scene
transitions and/or action to the rhythm of the music. This combination of
sound stimulus and visual stimulus causes the viewer to feel the moment
literally. It helps conclude the story in dramatic fashion. I bet everyone can
agree that the video is more effective with music.

When to use it?


There are lots of considerations when choosing the correct music for an ad
campaign; popularity, emotional effect, humor, tempo, instrumentation,
association, etc. With no clear set of rules, producers usually rely on intuition
and experience to make good choices. Most importantly, producers need to
understand the intention and purpose for music. Otherwise, you get this.

The music in this commercial is just noise. Its not bad music but it has no
clear emotional purpose or relationship to the action. There is also no priority
between the music and dialog levels; a mixing issue. This causes the message
(the purpose of advertising) to be unclear. Music should NEVER cloud the
dialog. Watch

Was this message more or less clear? Our brains have a built in protection
mechanism against noise. This allows us to tune out clouds of sound. The
point being that, without clear purpose, music in advertising might produce
negative effects. It might remove focus from the intended subject, it may
seem cheap and generic, and in a worst case scenario the music could make
the commercial easy to ignore.

What works well?

Tight Synchronization with Action and Intention

In this video the music is written after the videos creation. Unlike the
Gatorade video, this commercial takes its shape from the videos narrative.
The music follows the shape of the story and is written by a composer. A
good composer can address the emotional intention, and the mechanics of
synchronizing to action, all while making music that sounds natural. This
specific commercial uses many comical elements that are echoed in the
music. This reinforces the intended experience for the viewer. Almost like a

laugh-track in a TV sitcom which is designed to lead the audience into the


intended punch-line. Its important to use music that leads the audience into
the intended experience.

Emotional congruency -

This commercial uses what some call a needle-drop track. The music existed
prior to the commercial and was selected by the production team to provide a
specific ambiance. Its then dropped into the video sequence by the editor.
This technique is similar to the Sandy Sansing car commercial but is
executed better here. The music doesnt fight the dialog for sonic space. Its
also light and unobtrusive. This light character matches the little boy. It has a
bouncy tempo which works with humor. Although there is no action, and the
humor doesnt need any help to deliver the punch-line, the music provides a
complementing texture.

Cinematic sound design and musical contrast

In motion pictures, sound and music are corner-stones. These elements drive
certain sequences and create a more immersible experience, especially in
transitional edits where the audience is teleported through distant locations
or times. This ad has similar movements. The piano is reflective and evokes
memories. The electronic section has an action-feel.

Popular music: Capitalizing on unconditioned stimuli


At last the most obvious unconditioned stimuli, use what people already love
and associate a product to that loved element. This ad says almost nothing
about iPods or Apple; no features, no price, no clear product image. Yet the
ads were a huge success. Apple purchases a license for the hottest new single,
creates energetic fun images, and tags their logo on the end. Why? Because
music is used by people to craft their identity. It states which social groups
they belong to and compliments their desired attitude. In this ad Apple isnt
selling iPods. Apple sells lifestyle and identity. They bet that the target
market wants to associate their self-image with the ads images, one of which
is the Apple logo. The music and images are selected because they appeal to
the target demographic.
Marketing is all about people and these people can be stimulated with music.
As the research article states, the right stimulation can make your ad more
memorable and the improve the products favoritism.