Both advertisers and researchers have known for many years that music can tip the scale in an ad’s favor. The well-chosen tune can make all the difference when it comes to people attending towards the ad, developing positive attitudes and associations – and ultimately forking over their hard earned cash to buy the product.
But what exactly constitutes the right music?
Once upon a time, our ancestors would gather around a fire to tell stories, sharing their imaginations and lessons with others. Fast-forward to today and we are still sharing stories, but accompanied by smartphones instead of fires.
Nowadays we are more individualistic than ever. We are encouraged to make our own decisions, live the life in a way that we like. And yet, 72% of ads contain assertive language. Brands tell us what to do quite explicitly - “visit our Facebook page”, “floss daily”, “eat healthy”.
How do people react when brands tell them what to do?
For years, neuromarketeers have been in pursuit of the buy button. This specific neural pattern ought to align perfectly with a rising slope in the sales curve.
Unfortunately, reality is more complex than that. While specific kinds of brain activity are certainly predictive of purchase and preferences (the nucleus accumbens and frontal asymmetry pop up time and again), the ultimate response seems to vary with content and strategy.
In the last decade, psychologists have uncovered many fascinating spillover effects of television genres making people more susceptible to different forms of advertising. A block of commercials isn’t processed in isolation. Instead, it’s tightly connected to the thoughts and feelings activated by the previous show, movie, news story and surrounding ads. This knowledge is solid gold for advertisers, as it allows them give their commercials an extra edge when buying media time.