Dance to the Music! How Musical Genres in Advertisements Can Sway Perceptions of Image

Steve Oakes

University of Liverpool

Adrian North

Curtin University

Management slant

  • Compared to a no-music treatment, dance music superimposed over advertisements significantly enhanced the perceived image attractiveness of the advertised university; classical music had the opposite effect.
  • Although dance music in advertising increased the desire to apply for postgraduate study at the university, classical music enhanced perceptions of a sophisticated learning environment and produced expectations of higher fees.
  • Broadly, the results suggest that musical genres may influence perceived image and purchase behavior when advertising comparably intangible services whose quality is difficult to evaluate in advance (e.g., package holidays).
  • Musical genre is relatively easy to control and can provide extensive applications for advertising agencies and clients in terms of demographic targeting and communication of a distinctive brand image.