Have you ever been able to guess which brand’s commercial is on TV without seeing or hearing its name? Have you ever found yourself teary-eyed during every single sad moment in Forrest Gump, even though you’ve seen it a hundred times? Don’t thank Tom Hanks (well, ok, you can thank Tom Hanks).
Every day, LMD helps our clients solve tough branding questions like, “What should our brand identity look like?” or, “How should our branded collateral feel?” Marketing and branding initiatives also need to take into account the full spectrum of how today’s consumers are interacting with brands. It’s time to ask a perhaps odd—but—very important question: “What should our brand sound like?”
Where Music Matters
One word. Video.
Thought leaders and mainstream industry publications called 2017 “The Year of Video Marketing.” Video is an extremely useful tool for storytelling, a key mechanism for delivering messages and connecting on an emotional level with customers in today’s crowded landscape. Video also creates an unmatched level of engagement, generating on average 1200% more shares than text and image-based posts combined when used on social media (WordStream).
It’s no surprise that video is immensely popular. Currently, more video content is uploaded to the web—by both businesses and consumers—in a single month than the major U.S. television networks have created in the last three decades (WordStream). Now that’s powerful.
And just like your favorite movie, every memorable video needs a great soundtrack.
Why Music Matters
We know that music is useful, and we know where to use it. But what can music really accomplish?
- Improve memorability.
Just like smell, music is a powerful memory trigger. That’s why for what seems like years now, the hardware retailer Lowe’s has decided to use the same simple song in their advertising, featuring a catchy whistled melody. For much of their target audience, this song alone can help them instantly identify it being a Lowe’s commercial, leading to higher attentiveness and recall of the brand and message.
- Enhance comprehension.
A 2015 study by Nielsen found that background music deemed as being “generic” can actually boost a viewer’s ability to take in the information and messages being conveyed in an ad. Use gentle and inviting music when your ad content is instructional or educational in nature, or when high priority messages about prices or dates are involved.
- Inspire emotion.
Music gives us a cue on how to feel, and when. Think back to the Forrest Gump example at the beginning of this article. If Tom Hanks said goodbye to Jenny while an electronic dance beat played in the background, would we still be holding back tears? Use music to highlight the emotions you want to evoke. Opt for rising crescendos to make viewers feel inspired, powerful percussion to create energy and excitement, and so forth.
What You Need
When licensing a track, remember that price and popularity don’t always translate into better results. You don’t need the latest song from Bruno Mars for your ad to make an impact. In fact, it’s likely your customers have already decided the song is overplayed and overused, making your ad forgettable.
What you really need is:
- A deep understanding of your objective.
Music should align with the message you are trying to deliver and seek to embody your brand’s personality, while at the same time being unique and catchy enough to strengthen memorability. Genre, tempo, arc, and even instrumentation will all have an impact on the emotional response you’ll develop and the actions your customers may be driven to take. Remember to stay on-brand, but don’t be afraid to be bold and daring.
- A deep understanding of your customer.
Aim to cater to the music tastes of your target audience. Just like a polka song isn’t likely to be seen on a Dodge Ram truck commercial, it’s also not likely to be a favorite of their average consumer (but we aren’t judging!). Also think about any perceptions (both positive and negative) your audience may have about your brand and how music can either change or strengthen them.
- A great marketing partner.
That’s where LMD comes in. We’ll help you find the right music to give your next campaign a lasting impact—one you just can’t seem to get out of your head.