The power of music in marketing

We all love music — whether it’s Adele or A.R. Rahman, music is a universal language that triggers emotions and memories. Our brains activate certain parts that release a surge of dopamine on hearing pleasurable sounds, making an emotional impact, and even leaving us with spine-tingling chills. In short, we as humans have an innate musicality.

That’s just one of the reasons why I believe that sound is one of the most powerful marketing tools a brand can possess. Some might say that big brands are often recognised for their products and services — but in actuality, it all comes down to how they made their customers feel. 

Since the 1930s, music has played a crucial role in the advertising industry. Brands used jingles and specially-composed songs to create experiences for their customers. One of the earliest examples was a popular cola company that hired English pop group ‘The New Seekers’ in 1971 to compose a song for their advertisements. At the time, their song ‘I’d like to teach the world to sing’ struck a chord with the brand’s target group (TG), driving sales to an all-time high.

A more recent example is that of a huge manufacturing company. In late 2018, they released an advert with a social message — reducing the use of plastic. The best part? The use of playful, folksy tunes to complement the rural setting, which served to offset the seriousness of the message without taking attention away from it.

Now the question is — how do you choose the right tunes? Well, at the outset, it depends on the kind of brand you are and what the collateral is. If you’re a B2B company explaining a complex topic, then make sure the music helps the viewer concentrate, and doesn’t take away from your message. If you’re a non-profit trying to raise funds, a mellow tune will help effectively convey your message. Another pro tip? Hire a composer. They are particularly helpful in case your video switches between multiple moods, and what’s more — an original score creates a unique sense of consistency across your videos and aids brand recall.

Speaking of brand recall, one of the best examples (and my favorite) is a ‘90s detergent brand that took the country by storm with its jingle. The TVC featured quintessential Indian housewives and the brand’s mascots, but what stood out the most was the peppy jingle that stole hearts and helped the brand twirl its way to the top. How did they achieve the feat? Well, they got their research right is what I would say. While other detergent brands at the time were simply stating facts, this brand cleverly sang to the nation with smiling faces and clean clothes. Even now, two decades later, the brand is still identified by the jingle — and that is the power of sound in marketing. 

Today, we live in a fast-paced world where people’s attention spans are less than 12 seconds. This puts tremendous pressure on brands to communicate their message effectively before its customers’ minds wander off. And that’s why I believe sound is a great way to market products and services and distinguish the brand from its competitors. So, what’s the takeaway? Hit the right notes, and I promise, the audience’s feedback will be music to your ears! Any questions? Feel free to reach out.

Tina Garg
Founder and CEO at Pink Lemonade, an Integrated Marketing & Communications agency in Bangalore.
Tina launched the company in 2011, and today, it is known for its award-winning work in creative & business communications, and digital services. She comes with extensive experience in the creative industry, and is passionate about empowering women entrepreneurs.

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