The purpose of all advertising is to drive sales. Advertisers use many tactics for this, and one of these tactics is the use of music.
Music is used to connect with consumers on an emotional level, and this is very effective in influencing a purchase. According to a study, emotion is the basis of most of our decisions and greatly influences a consumer’s decision on whether to buy a product. In one study, it was found that retailers could make more sales by selecting the right music.
Consumer brands being linked to unique music started in the 1920s and 1930s by FMCG advertisers. The use of original music in TV advertising was pioneered by Coca-Cola, who effectively conveyed powerful human emotions in one of its advertising campaigns.
Its use of the song I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing in 1971 as its “Buy the World a Coke” advertising campaign told the story of love, hope and togetherness.
So with this in mind, how can you effectively resonate with consumers through your ad?
1. Be clear on how you want your audience to feel
The importance of music and its emotional connection can be demonstrated using a John Lewis Christmas advert, which triggers an emotional response. The visuals take on a completely different meaning without the music.
Turn down the volume and see how you feel about the advert without the music. The use of music, especially the style of music used, changes our perception.
2. Be clear on the type of behaviour you want to elicit from your customers
In order for adverts to be successful, the responses and behaviours of consumers need to be considered. Consider how you want people to perceive and experience your brand, as music can shape this significantly. For example, a study was conducted which found that a wine store had bigger sales of its expensive wines when it played classical music in the background, rather than top-40 music. Of course, you will have done your research and discovered the right music for your brand.
3. Make everything work coherently
Successful ads are created when the target market is identified, the type of behaviour the brand wants to elicit from their customers is clear, and the right music is chosen. It all has to work together coherently in order to elicit positive feelings and intended behaviours from consumers.
For example, brands can be seen in a positive light when they align themselves with new and appealing artists. This plays in with the fact that, according to research, the release of dopamine in the brain is increased by up to 21% by listening to your favourite music.
However, it is necessary to use music from an artist that is loved by your consumers and accurately represents your brand, rather than choosing any well-known or up-and-coming music act just because you like that particular act or because they’re popular.
Your choice of music is just as important as the visuals and even the product or service you are offering. Emotion is a key factor in purchase decisions, and music definitely helps to drive emotions.
Katriona Weekes is a music producer, composer and songwriter at katrionamusic.com.