By: Annie Keller

Music is a very important feature in advertising because of its effect on viewer attention and arousal. Studies have shown music’s definite effect on both emotional and cognitive responses in the listener. For example, exciting music increases a listener’s heart rate. Cognitively, music in a minor key makes listeners have sadder thoughts. All of these factors of music, when used in advertising, affect how a consumer may perceive the brand.

In a 1986 study done by Park and Young, researchers in music psychology found that music interferes with purchase intent at the cognitive level but facilitates it in a low-involvement state. Other researchers have agreed with this; music enhances the message of the advertisement for low-involvement consumers but detracts from the message in high-involvement consumers.

Brands that Use Music Effectively in their Ads

  • Classic Example: McDonald’s “ba da ba ba ba…. I’m Lovin’ It.” Even a short jingle can effectively communicate a brand’s message. This slogan and jingle represents the true essence of McDonald’s.
  • Good for the Brand and Good for the Band! In “Hi Hey Hello,” a short musical film for Samsung’s Galaxy S4, both the brand and the band, The Chicharones, benefit!

What’s you favorite example of music in an advertisement?

How to Find the Perfect Song for Your Brand

There are many common themes in music used in advertising. A piece must have an entertainment value; to be effective, it must draw the attention of the media consumer. For an advertisement, a good song must be memorable. Of course, in the case of a jingle, the piece of music has to be extremely catchy. If the marketer has us singing their tune and relating it back to their brand, the jingle was effective. We all know that “the best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup.” This jingle helps promote brand recall which can potentially increases sales for the company. Even longer songs aid in fostering a brand’s essence. The lyrical and melodic aspects work together to add another layer to the commercial. The song must enhance the message of the advertisement, and it must make sense for the brand.


Written by Ad Buzz

The American Advertising Federation Illinois Chapter brings to you Ad Buzz, a blog dedicated to all things advertising related, from our favorite campaigns to trends going on in the industry.

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