Music in advertising.

Alan Branthwaite and Rosi Ware,
Millward Brown International, United States


Theories abound about the role and usefulness of music in advertising. One theory, reportedly developed by Bob Payton while at JWT, was that music in commercials should be tailored to the brand's target group by selecting pop music that was in the charts when they were in their teens, as this was the most music–conscious lifestage, and therefore likely to lead to the strongest emotional ties to the brand. Music also acts as a public statement of the brand's intentions by making the 'ideal' user image more transparent, which may however ward off other potential buyers.

The idea that pop music acts like a magnet to attract the attention of specific target groups is quite well–known. Reportedly, Haagen Dazs, Sunkist, Volvo and Rover have all been involved in using music to appeal to new target audiences or reposition their brand image. In another context, the theme song for the television coverage of the Euro96 football competition (Simply Red's We're in this together) was chosen partly with the aim of attracting the interest of women.