Music is an essential tool in the advertising world. Numerous researches have accredited music with enhancing the effectiveness of an ad on the target audience.  For most of you, you have seen and felt this enhancement in effect. With all the music ads you’ve viewed over your lifetime, which one stood out the most? I can bet it either had some catchy song or a comical theme in its script.

Let’s reminisce and go back in time. Can you recall any advertisements that have stuck in your mind over the years? Do you remember why you liked -or for some a strong dislike- them? Did the commercial have a catchy, memorable tune? Do you remember the genre of the songs?

It is no surprise that most of the ads you remember from your childhood have a catchy song. Fast forward to today, you’ll find some of those advertisements embedded deep in our subconscious. Whenever we hear the sound of an ad track playing, it tends to trigger our memories instantly. Likewise, when we see the advertised product within our vicinity, our minds will stray back to the ad. You might even find yourself purchasing the commodity without much thought.

Music, therefore, is a powerful tool in increasing the effectiveness of commercial ads. Thus, with the right song, you can increase the popularity of an advertised product. This popularity will eventually lead to a boost in sales.

On the other hand, if you mess up and choose an unsuitable song, potential customers may disregard your product instantly. Such an act can wreak havoc on your advertisement campaign. The effect on the viewers/ listeners to the commodity can be quite harmful if they dislike the song. Inherently, they will subconsciously hate the product without ever truly knowing it.

Listen to the TLDR (Too Long Didn’t Read) version of this article:


So, What is this Article About?

In this article, increase your IQ music ads in the following topics:

  • What are music ads
  • How do music ads work?
  • Importance of music in advertising

Without further ado, let’s get started.

What are Music Ads?

Music ads are also known as music in an advertisement.

Generally, music ads are commercial tracks integrated into electronic media advertisements for selling a product or business advertisement to the masses. Depending on the type of business, the general music feeling may be either upbeat or a bit serious in the corporate sense. Marketers usually use happy tunes for fashion and social moments. On the other hand, financial and security industries tend to use music that is very serious in nature.

So, what makes commercial music so popular in the realm of advertisers?

The answer to this question is quite simple. Music mostly tends to appeal to an individual’s senses and emotions. Songs can sway the person’s emotional state into buying the advertised product without immediate opposition from the customer’s thoughts.

Both the emotional state and the mood of a person are essential concepts when it comes to establishing attitudes towards products. It is a proven fact that feelings tend to bias opinions and judgments as per the state of a person’s mood.

In addition to the music enticing potential clients and grabbing their attention, it also has another subtle advantage. Music ads can easily fit into the limited standard time for a commercial advertisement. The media houses mostly cap it at 15 seconds per segment.

Advertising in music music ads people talking


How do Music Ads Work?

Using music in advertisements can have a powerful effect on both the viewers and listeners. It can alter the perception of a brand on different levels. Furthermore, music can significantly affect the emotional response to a product commercial.

There are various functions of music in advertising. David Huron is the one credited for coming up with six primary categories of music that serve the overall promotional goals in an ad. He is a distinguished Canadian professor at Ohio State University. His teachings and publications concentrate on music cognition and the psychology of music. These six categories include:

  1. Lyrical language
  2. Structure
  3. Authority establishment
  4. Entertainment
  5. Memorability
  6. Targeting

Let’s look have a more in-depth look into these categories, shall we?

Importance of Music Ads in Advertising


While analyzing these categories, we’ll also be learning about the importance of using music in ads. We cannot underestimate the unique characteristics of music and its immense effect on both the emotions and moods of a person. It has the power to sway an audience in a given direction. Hence, music can be the breaker (or maker) of the sales barrier in most industries.

Do you want to make an outstanding commercial that will leave the audience in awe? Have you tried increasing your sales by spending some money on advertising and marketing? Would you like to utilize the power of music in your ads?

In the following categories, learn why utilizing music ads can be an effective way of swaying potential customers to your front porch. They will help you understand the logic of mood capitalization in increasing a company’s overall sales.

Let’s begin!

1. Lyrical Language

The lyrical language used in making songs is an essential theme for both marketers and advertisers. These two parties can utilize music in overcoming a viewer’s innate skepticism. Despite developing this skepticism over the years, through desensitization, music can subtly break the barrier and appeal to the subconscious. In other words, listeners won’t consciously notice the message.

The process can render the listening audience to be uninvolved, non-decision-making consumers instead of active cognitive problem solvers. Songs achieve this goal by:

  • providing both poetic, emotive appeal through music
  • factual, logical appeals through the written and spoken language

2. Continuity and Structure

Music immensely contributes to supporting the structure and continuity of an advertisement in the following ways:

  1. It can emphasize the dramatic moment scripted within the ads.
  2. Music either helps to structure the script or aims to tell the narrative itself.
  3. Songs can act as mediators between disjointed images.
  4. Music enables the creation of a protagonist and antagonist through harmonies, musical figures, and melodies given to the characters.

3. Authority Establishment 

In music, authority establishment is the idea of adding more credibility to an advertisement. By using a renowned artist or using a relatable song, businesses can increase their authority over the commodity. These artists and tracks help the companies convert more of the ad viewers into paying customers. This conversion is especially handy when it comes to appealing to their fanbase.

Moreover, using a well-known song that holds much appreciation to the target audience can have a similar effect. It helps to strengthen the bond between the consumer and the product. Thus, songs and artists can enhance the conversion rate of an advert.

4. Entertainment

Any music used in adverts does not necessarily have a special bond or affiliation to the product. It acts more of a connecting medium. Songs can create bridges between the advertisement and the listener. The connection tends to add aesthetic value to the advert making it more entertaining. The more engaging a commercial is, the more appealing it will be to the target audience.

An entertaining ad will always capture the attention of the audience. Not only will viewers be drawn in it but also, they are likely to spread information about its immersion capabilities to other people. The spreading can be either through word of mouth or via electronic means.

When an ad goes viral nowadays, people are likely to continue sharing it across major social platforms. The shared content can, therefore, be rooted in their subconscious. Hence the mind will subtly push them to buy the product over its competitors.

In other words, associating the music itself with the advertisement is not compulsory. Music is more like a flavor to the ad. Compare this analogy to the salt used in flavoring food. Without the salt, the food would be sullen. Similarly, an advertisement without a song would also appear bleak to the intended audience.

Entertainment in music usually appeals to the emotions of a person. Thus, the song(s) can help create positive emotions that ultimately motivate people to action. Once an ad is paired correctly to the right type of track, people tend to relate the product to a certain feeling.

Advertising in music ads people in platforms

5. Memorability

Over the years, researchers have proven that music can linger in the minds of a listener for a long time. Catchy songs are retained in memory, primarily when heard repeatedly. And that’s why music is vital in most adverts: It is the most common technique for enhancing product recall through increased memorability. The enhancement is due to music triggering a part of memory once the mind narrows down the melody as it progresses.

Thus, when using music in a commercial, it can aid in increasing the memorability of a product in the viewer’s mind. Memorability is achieved as the song and product content fuse together and remain in memory. That’s why advertisers prefer inserting recognizable songs to their ads. The positive relationship associated with the track will aid the viewer to comprehend and recall the product.

Better yet, whenever a marketer uses famous songs like the classic tunes, they can significantly improve the recall capability of information. In the end, the popular music will leave a lasting impression on the audience.

In this age of digital platforms, marketers are utilizing popular songs to appeal to the young demography. A substantial percentage of these individuals are attracted to the famous musical artists. They also have great admiration for most of the entertainment and sportspeople in general. A marketer using a celebrity whom the people look up to will more often than not leap the benefits of endorsement by the renowned figure.

Why is Using Popular Songs in Advertising Expensive?

This service of employing music into ads does not come cheap. Companies may have to spend thousands of dollars to obtain rights for using a specific song in their commercials. Most adverts that stand out in the public domain must have cost a fortune in the making. The increased cost is due to celebrities’ tendencies to request for a hefty pay tag for their services.

On top of all this, it is advisable to employ other tactics to immerse viewers into the advertisement. The advertisers can add vivid colors and vibrant visual effects to the display ads. If it is an audio ad, the marketer should add either a comical story or great quotes and statements to the script.

6. Targeting

Although most products appeal to the higher percentage of the masses, some have a differentiated market. We can categorize the markets according to class, demography, gender, and the purchasing power of the clientele. Marketers have to carve out their niche form these divisions and establish a target market for their products.

A target market is thus a specific group of potential customers, exhibiting similar characteristics, that a business targets its marketing efforts towards.  This particular group is called the target audience. Therefore, by using various forms of musical genres, advertisers can tap into the right kind of audience for their products.

“How is this achieved?” You may wonder.

Well, it involves appealing to the emotions and moods of the audience. Earlier in the memorability section, I mentioned how sellers use songs to stir various emotions. Music can also create several feelings and invoke the audience into thinking or feeling in a particular way. A business can target any specific group of individuals using the content of music, different tempos, pitches, and time changes.

There is a journal titled, “Understanding Jingles and Needledrop: A Rhetorical Approach to Music in Advertising, ” by Linda M. Scott on this topic. She says that there is a particular theory whereby music is a useful background component in bonding a customer to the product without their full cognitive involvement. Therefore, choosing the right music is vital in creating a commercial ad that resonates with the target audience.

Final Remarks

As we’ve seen,  music in ads is a vital ingredient in the success of the advertisement. It helps to increase memorability, entertainment, and the authority establishment of a product. Furthermore, music can aid in the precision targeting of markets and enhance the continuity and structure of an ad.

If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, there is a book by Eric Sheinkop: He is a leading marketing and music industry insider. The book is titled “Return of the Hustle: The Art of Marketing With Music.“ With it, you’ll understand how various marketers and advertisers are using music to enhance consumers’ belief in their product.

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