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19 May 2022
Understanding the emotional impact of music on advertising
EmotionMusic & soundCreativity & research
Music influences mood and can play an important role in advertising; a new study quantifies the subconscious impact of music – and, crucially, how it differs from the conscious response.
Why it matters
The effectiveness of music in advertising to reinforce the mood or narrative of the message being delivered depends on emotional synchronisation with visual content to optimise the desired subconscious response.
Following a 12-month research project* by sonic branding company SoundOut, in partnership with the Music, Mind and Brain Research Group of Goldsmiths, University of London, brands can now begin to develop strategic plans for when and how to use music at both a conscious and subconscious level to produce the emotional impact they want to achieve.
The right music can increase the emotional response to a video by up to 16.4%, depending on the emotional attribute being evaluated.
Music is particularly powerful in changing the emotional response for some emotional attributes – like Peaceful, Intense and Defiant – but less so for others – like Technical, Spontaneous and Simple.
SoundOut is launching a fully benchmarked suite of technology tools to enable brands to identify the best music choices for brand and marketing impact at both a conscious and subconscious level.
Further analysis of the project, its findings and outputs will be presented in the following free-to-attend webinars hosted by WARC:
Unlocking the Subconscious Power of Music 1: New Discoveries in Testing (Wednesday, 25th May, 3-4pm BST). Register here.
Unlocking the Subconscious Power of Music 2: Optimising the branding/marketing music mix (Wednesday, 1st June, 3-4pm BST). Register here.
*The project involved individually testing over 3,000 audio/video and audio/image pairings alongside silent control videos in over 100,000 consumer tests where participants were asked to rate the video (not audio) across a standard inventory of emotional attributes.