What kind of music is best for campaigns?

We can all pull some short jingle for a long-discontinued brand out of the depths of our minds if prompted in the right way. Equally, distinctive brand imaging or logos have the ability to stick to our subconscious like Velcro.

Music is an important tool in the marketing toolkit and is capable of elevating a campaign from bog standard to ubiquitous. Among consumers as well, music is often thought of as being more memorable when it is used in a marketing context.

At least, this is what 60% of respondents said in a new study by PHMG.

The audio branding specialist decided to measure the reactions of 1,000 UK consumers in order to try and find out what effect music has on consumers. Unsurprisingly, the company found that music is capable of producing strong emotional reactions that can affect the way a person sees a company.

“Our hearing is a more powerful emotional sense than our sight, so there is a clear opportunity for businesses to broaden their marketing horizons and gain a competitive edge by making better use of audio,” Daniel Lafferty, Director of Music and Voice at PHMG, said.

“The phone is one obvious channel where businesses should pay close attention to the sounds that customers hear, but this equally applies to radio and television advertising, videos and product sounds.

“It is important that organisations carefully design brand audio by defining the brand values they would like to convey and ensuring the different variables are matched to these values. Inappropriate music can lead customers to develop negative perceptions of a brand that may prove hard to shift.”

Instrumental elements

The study looked to measure people’s reactions to different kinds of music. The results show that marketers need to be aware of the effects that different instrumentation, as well as variations in style and key, can have on consumer perceptions.

For example, 90% of respondent reported associating strings playing short, sharp notes in a major key with feelings of excitement and happiness. The same kind of playing in a minor key, however, provoked a feeling of sadness and melancholy in 81% of respondents.

91% said that the sound of an acoustic guitar made them feel calm, caring and sophisticated, while other acoustic instruments (those that generate their own sound) gave off the impression of honesty and transparency. If you want your audience to feel a sense of energy and motivation, nothing beats high-intensity drumming.

If you are looking to inspire feelings of anger, sadness or reflectiveness then you should be calling upon the brooding swirl of the brass section.  

“Understanding your own business and the values you want it to represent is crucial to building a strong rapport with customers, while enhancing brand loyalty and memorability,” Lafferty added.

“That’s why it is so important to build a brand that accurately reflects the various desired attributes – audio and visuals should be designed to complement each other in pursuit of this goal.”

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