Orchestrating the Right Mood in Advertising

Music is one of the oldest forms of communication. For most, rhythm is in our DNA. But even if we aren’t the best at grooving to the beat, there are always underlying emotions that swell up when a particular genre fires up on the ol’ jukebox or when a certain song plays on the radio. Whether it is a radio, web or TV commercial, utilizing the right music in your advertising can be a key in creating a complementing affect to better promote your product or service.

One of the best examples of music used in an advertisement is Apple’s introduction of the iPod. From 2004 to 2008, the tech conglomerate dominated the scene with its dancing silhouettes to the year’s biggest hits. Not only was it the hottest selling item of the new millennium, it established a whole new culture in the way content is consumed. Ripe with quick visuals and exciting colors, the music kept our feet dancing all the way to the local Apple store.

Another classic example of how music can influence consumers is in the power of a theme song. United Airlines’s theme song “Rhapsody in Blue,” composed by George Gershwin, generates not only a feeling of elegance and class, but also demonstrates the complexity and care that goes into United Airlines’ services.

Finding the right song for your demographic (to implement into your ad) or developing the perfect theme song to represent your company are achievements that take careful planning and testing. Music can also be a tool to evoke powerful emotions. We all know Skype is a communication tool to bring people closer together without the boundaries of physical space. But when demonstrated with the right story, visuals and music, Skype can have a whole new outlook for consumers. In its ad, “The Born Friends Family Portrait,” Skype utilizes subtle, swelling music that builds up to an inspiring, emotional climax. Every element of this ad works together to be in sync to create a resonating feeling to think back on when you hear or see their name.

Of course the opposite effect can happen when picking the wrong music. One of the most obtrusive songs that can have a negative effect on anything media related has to be the “Benny Hill” theme song, “Yakety Sax” by James Q. “Spider” Rich and Homer “Boots” Randolph III. A YouTube user took “Yakety Sax” and played it over a terrifying Public Service Announcement that is suppose to create fear and panic, but as soon as the song hits it the desired affect is far from achieved.

Know your audience and figure out what consumers want out of your product or service. Finding the right music to input into your advertising is not always going to come right away. Developing an ad is more than just a piece of media consumers will digest at the moment that it’s shown to them. Ads can have a lasting affect that will be taken long after they have been viewed. And picking the right music can reap the benefits the next time your target audience thinks of your company.

-Tyler