Psychological marketing with music


The use of music in marketing has a peculiar psychological aspect to it. On one hand the music in an advertisement rarely contains the main marketing message, but on the other hand advertisements can seem empty or incomplete without it. Is there any advertising psychology in the music or jingles used to advertise products?

Memorability

One of the main reasons music is used when conveying marketing messages is that it makes the products name easier to remember. Most people at some stage have had a song in their head that they can not seem to forget. Every time their mind wanders, the familiar motif or chorus of the song returns.

The reason for this, it seems, is that the human mind in about half the population is more skilled at remembering a tune than a product name. This is what the advertisers would ultimately like; the song or jingle to stick in peoples memory to help them remember the product.

Have you ever remembered a product, just because you started humming it's jingle?

Feeling and impression

Music seems to be one of the best ways to communicate emotion, and feeling. Each type of song or jingle used in advertising has a particular feeling. The most common is an upbeat and lively feel, used to make your life seem like more of a continual party with the advertised product.

Another emotion that music and jingles can play on is sadness. When combined with emotive images or dialogue, it can provoke strong enough emotions to make a substantial number of viewers donate money to charities.

Particular music can also give an exotic, elegant or authentic feel to an advertisement.

  • Cuisine from a foreign country can advertise with music from that country to give it an authentic feel.

  • Jewellers and other luxury stores can use upmarket or classical music to make their advertised product seem old and sophisticated.

In some cases the music or jingle can make the advertised product seem older than it really is or make it feel like it has history and sophistication.

Audience

When targeting an advertisement, specific music can appeal to certain audience types. For example:

  • Irish music can have more appeal to an Irish subculture

  • Jingles with a salsa flavour can appeal to a Hispanic culture

  • Modern songs and jingles can appeal to younger audiences.

Attention and intrusion

Historically, music was used in radio advertising and television marketing psychology to enrich a dull spoken sales pitch. The music would attract listener's attention and the advertisement would be less of an intrusion. The problem is that the audience soon became accustom to music in advertising and it lost its power to attract attention.

Published: 7 January 2005

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