Music and advertising have an integral relationship that continues to flourish – it’s because they both tell a story and engage audiences effectively, but they do this in different ways.
Advertising is all about taglines and slogans, while music connects with audience emotions and highlights story points.
This article gives you a breakdown of some of the ways music and advertising complement each other and what you can think about when promoting your brand.
On the other hand, you might be a music producer interested in developing brand-specific music – either way, it’s hard to ignore the power of music in advertising.
Music evokes emotion
If you’ve ever watched a youtube ad with the sound turned down, you can tell it has far less impact than when the music is playing – you get the point!
But it’s just a series of flashing images. When you turn on the music, everything changes – there is suddenly, emotion.
There’s a reason that music has endured as an art form and mode of entertainment; it’s very effective at conveying a full range of human emotions.
This is incredibly useful to marketing people wanting to put across a singular theme in a short space of time.
Music creates a story
Of course, storytelling is fundamental to the marketing process; through the story, a brand is able to connect with a target audience by evoking emotions or relating to a place or culture.
Music only helps to enhance and fine-tune commercial storytelling.
Again, cast your mind back to the last time you watched a commercial and imagine it with the sound turned down.
You see the moving images, but you completely miss the story’s tension, romance, or drama. You need music to highlight points in the story you need to pay attention to.
Music sparks action
Marketers know that music is a powerful medium that lives in people’s minds long after the commercial has ended; that’s why it can be advantageous to use a popular song in a brand commercial.
It is also why royalties are so high to use popular music for commercials.
If a brand links their product to a song, perhaps with a strong tagline or brand statement, it puts someone in mind of the commercial when they hear that music again in the world.
This is a powerful form of advertising because it leads people to take the actions the brand wants.
Music reinforces a sale
Music is as much about brand identity as it is about setting the tone for individual adverts.
Although some theme music might be chosen on the basis of an independent advert, it should also align with the brand’s identity and strengthen it in the process.
If the brand is geared towards a younger generation, it makes little sense to use pleasant classical music, which would be incongruent to the brand even if it works for the product.
But if the commercial music is electronic, it can hit both notes supporting both the brand and the product.
Music builds a brand
Choosing the music for a commercial is one thing but choosing music that works for the brand is quite another. Ideally, you want music that sells your product and supports your brand.
In some ways, the music you choose also acts as a brand identifier, remember the Star Wars Imperial march? You can hear it again with imperial march sheet music.
This is why it pays to choose your sounds wisely and deploy them in the right places.
When you’re building your brand, consider what your brand sounds like and start to audition music that works well with it.
At this stage, it’s better to work in abstract terms, choose surfer music, for instance, or classical music or electronic music. Then, later, you can narrow your search criteria to specific artists.
The next time you go onto YouTube, turn the sound down and watch the commercial; conversely, close the YouTube window and simply listen to it. Again, you will notice that you only get half the experience.
It’s a bit like listening to music without the bass or the treble or hearing it with one earplug in.
Music enhances advertising by communicating a theme, connecting with an audience at a deeper level, or highlighting important story elements. But the advantages don’t stop there.
Music can also strengthen and develop your brand’s identity, especially if you choose the right soundtrack and you’re consistent with it; over time, your target audience will begin to associate the product with the music.
When this happens, there is no turning back; from then on, you need to have a soundtrack that is eternally associated with your brand or product – that’s worth its weight in gold.