All You Need is Love? Communication Insights from Pop Music’s Number-One Hits

David H. Henard and Christian L.Rossetti

North Carolina State University

Management slant

  • Consumers are more psychologically and technologically sophisticated than ever before, requiring new approaches to advertising.
  • Marketing communications have evolved from one-way broadcasts to multi-way conversations. To be effective, advertisers must "join the conversation" rather than broadcast content.
  • Emotional and cognitive themes can be identified in popular music lyrics and, therefore, help advertisers to better join the conversation.
  • These themes, while constant over decades, vary according to contemporary environments, providing advertisers with a temporal guide to consumer conversations.
  • Individuals' desire to express themselves in the context of current events and advertising plays a role in the social identity of individuals. Thus, future research aimed at uncovering the contemporary social realities of consumers can enhance advertising content.