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Ivan Peychev

7L co-founder


David Huron in his essay "Music in Advertising: An Analytic Paradigm" (Musical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 4 (1989) pp. 557-574.) identified six basic ways in which music can contribute to an effective broadcast advertisement. I will summaries 3 of them in short, which I feel like are most important.
1. Entertainment

Good music can contribute to the effectiveness of an advertisement merely by making it more attractive. A good ad engages the attention of an audience, and the most straightforward way of achieving this is to fashion an appeal which is entertaining. Historically, the use of music in advertising originated in early vaudeville, where music served to candy coat a spoken narrative sales pitch. Music served to engage listeners' attention and render the advertisement less of an unwanted intrusion.

2. Structure/Continuity

The most important structural role is in tying together a sequence of visual images and/or a series of dramatic episodes, narrative voice-overs, or a list of product appeals. This is the function of continuity.

Historically, the use of music to achieve greater continuity originated in film music -- where one of its functions was to smooth out sequences of discontinuous scene changes or edits. The music is used to mediate between disjoint images. Thus, advertising music can be employed as simply an uninterrupted background -- what has been dubbed "gravy train."
3. Memorability

The use of rhythmic foreshadowing in the "Sausage McMuffin" ad points to a third important function for music: to increase the memorability of a product or the product's name. Consumers are known to favor products which elicit some degree of recognition or familiarity - even if it is merely the product's name. It is one of the peculiarities of human audition and cognition that music tends to linger in the listener's mind. Surprisingly, such musical lingering may occur even when the mind is an unwilling host. Thus, the association of music with the identity of a certain product may substantially aid product recall. The classic "jingle" is the most common musical technique for aiding memorability and hence product recall.

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