Music to Your Ears (And Ads) 

We all have our favorite tunes. For some, it’s the Beatles or Led Zeppelin and for others it’s DaBaby and Drake. No matter your musical preference, there is no doubt that there are songs our souls are set to. What about the music in advertising? Does the song we pick to accompany our product in a YouTube ad matter, or can we slap the cheapest license on there and call it a day? Let’s dive in. 

Hit Me with Your Best Shot 

Nostalgia. Emotion. Color. There are a few reasons you want to add music to an ad. It worked well for the SPCA and Sarah McLachlan (I’m not crying! You’re crying!) and with Jet and Apple. Music that evokes something is more likely to draw your attention and more likely to connect you to the product.  

Maybe you have a special connection to “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede because it reminds you of being a little girl and dancing on your late dad’s feet while he held your hands (in no way, whatsoever, a personal reference). If that song were to play on an ad for something you were even remotely interested in, it would increase your interest. If absolutely nothing else, a product or service you aren’t even remotely interested in set to the right music will grab your attention, and that’s the whole idea.  

Tom Wellborn, “The Good Marketer” stated in a recent Drum article that “Used effectively, emotional advertising can lead to more social shares and product purchases. It can also inspire customer loyalty as emotions build trust between a brand and its customers.” We like things that make us feel good. We like things we can associate with. We like sharing those things with people we love.  

Lighters in the Sky 

Another reason to incorporate music into advertising is to target a specific audience. Music is largely generational. The tunes your mother listened to in her prime disco days are different than the underground rap mixtapes we listened to on our boom boxes. Using music as a siren call to your targeted demographic is a powerful tool.  

If you are trying to target 13-year olds with the latest tech or toy, playing music that resonates with them is the move. Same with boomers and Cat Stevens. This isn’t a hard and steadfast rule, of course, but association can certainly be an effective tool. 

Come Together 

So, what are you selling? Your personal brand or your clients? A product of service? Who are you selling to and what message do you want to convey? What music can help with you with that message? How do you pick? 

Well, start with your audience, then factor in the goal. Turn on a Spotify playlist, do some music market research, and do some testing. Figure out what moves you and your audience, and vibe.  

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