Effectiveness of music in advertising

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Increasing enjoyment

Research examining the role of music in advertising tends to emphasize how music can increase the viewer's enjoyment of the advertisement. For instance, Branthwaite and Ware of Millward Brown, argue that:

  • "Music's main contribution to an ad is to increase interest and enjoyment" and that music "does little to convey a message or aid understanding of the brand" (Admap, 2003).

A more recent POV by Millward Brown (2008) reiterates the above claim that:

  • "The biggest benefit of using music is that ads with music tend to be slightly more enjoyable."
  • "Overall, there is little evidence that the use of music aids communication, even when it is connected to the message. Overall, the use of music has no effect on persuasion."

In their study of the differences between ads with and without music, Morris and Boone (1998) conclude that:

  • "Music may not always significantly change pleasure, arousal, dominance, brand attitude, or purchase intent in an emotional advertising condition, but it can change how the viewer feels when watching the advertisement."
  • "Music alone was not a significant enough factor to drastically increase any of the five dependent variables. However, when deciding whether to use background music with an advertisement, just considering whether the music significantly increased or decreased purchase intent should not be the sole consideration."