Music has the power to make us feel differently! For instance, while exercising, loud and fast beats distract people from pain and elevate mood. When listening to music, people run farther, bike longer, and swim faster than usual often without realizing it. Music can even be used to create the required atmosphere in a particular film scene. It can be used to reveal the emotions of the characters effectively and can also evoke the right emotions from within the audience. One of the ways music often makes a film memorable is by linking a marketable track to one of its iconic scenes.
For instance, “Gonna Fly Now,” theme music in Sylvester Stallone starrer Rocky (1976), made an enormous contribution to the film’s success. While this music is running in the backdrop, Rocky completes his daily training schedule. The song finishes as Rocky ends his famous run up the 72 stone steps leading to the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and raises his arms in a victory pose. To date, this song is often played at sporting events and gyms and has remained part of Rocky’s brand identity.
Research has shown that music has a powerful effect on our moods and produces corresponding changes in our behaviour. Marketers’ core job is to connect customers with brands. Just as marketers value the role of images, words, and channels, they also have to appreciate the role of the right music. Let’s have a look at a few of the benefits of music from marketing perspective:
Music can create emotional engagement: Martin Lindstrom said, “Once such emotional engagement has been created – demand will always follow – yet one could say the ‘side product of your effort is demand’ the primary purpose is to create love.” Music is a great way to create love. Over the past few years, music concerts and events have gained popularity in India’s top cities, and now they are reaching smaller towns. These music events are becoming great opportunities for brands to connect with their target audience in a different experiential zone. For instance, Zomato has launched Zomaland, a food and entertainment festival that features a line-up of music performances and comedy acts. Another example, Sunburn is ranked amongst the world’s biggest music festivals. Because Sunburn has a global outreach, many brands associate with the festival to connect with thousands of fans.
Music can create brand recognition: David Ogilvy said, “Try and inject into every commercial you make a touch of singularity; a bird that will hook on to the consumers mind.” A jingle is a short tune or song used in advertising. It is a powerful tool for brand recognition and top of mind awareness, mainly when used in a radio ad. Bharti Airtel worked with music composer AR Rahman to create its signature tune. It also released a television campaign featuring AR Rahman. This tune has become one of the world’s most popular mobile music. Similarly, brands like Titan, Intel, Britannia have created memorable audio signature properties. Because of signature tunes, people can recognize these brands even with their eyes shut! Recently, Unacademy launched an anthem ‘Let’s Crack It.’ The anthem is sung by Naezy, an emerging rap artist from the Gully Boy team. The anthem focuses on the many issues in the Indian education system and pressure on students, thus making Unacademy as the ray of hope that would help students achieve their dreams.
Music can influence intention to purchase: Dan Ariely said, “One of the big lessons from behavioural economics is that we make decisions as a function of the environment that we’re in.” Long back, Philip Kotler coined term atmospherics. Atmospherics refers to the atmosphere you create in your store by way of introducing various elements and effects. Music is an essential component of atmospherics. In 1982, Ronald E. Millman published an article in the Journal of Marketing that examined customers’ purchases based on the tempo of ambient music. Ronald found that when background music was faster, customers bought less. They walked more quickly, picked up only what they came for, and spent little to no time browsing. When the tempo slowed down, however, customers’ movements did, too. They browsed more and spent more. Another study, in a wine shop, found that customers bought more expensive wines when classical music was played. Also, they tended to buy French wine when French music was played, and German wine when German music was played.
Music creates visibility: Zig Ziglar said, “You don’t build a business. You build people, and people build the business.” Like product brands, music can also create visibility for personal brands in a highly crowded and competitive market. For instance, Dhanush’s YouTube hit single Why This Kolaveri Di made him nationally famous. This song became the first Indian music video to cross 100 million views on YouTube. Soon after the video came out, Dhanush was invited to music shows across the country. Even international media like BBC and Time magazine reported the popularity of the song, and Dhanush was invited as a “Guest of Honour” by then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. Another example, South Korean musician PSY’s song Gangnam Style, was recognized as the most liked video on YouTube. In December 2012, MTV noted PSY’s rise from being little known outside South Korea, to being hailed as the “Viral Star of 2012”.
Music can create new touchpoints: William Paisley said, “Communication is the fuel that keeps the fire of your relationship burning, without it, your relationship goes cold.” Music can keep communication alive between customers and brands beyond business. Burberry, the British upscale fashion brand, launched Burberry Acoustic, a platform that highlights the work of emerging British talents through a series of stylish online videos. Coca Cola started Coke Studio, which features live studio-recorded music performances by various artists. Further, Coke Studio concerts have been popular in many college festivals. Another example, Red Bull launched The Red Bull Music Academy as a workshop and lecture series for aspiring music-makers. The brand also has a radio station, Red Bull Radio, and its own music label, Red Bull Records, that works with independent, upcoming artists.
The goal of marketers is to create memorable and differentiated brands. In today’s era, with radio coming back as an active advertising medium, podcasts gaining traction, platforms like Spotify emerging, audio is becoming more and more critical. Further, due to the evolution of live events, music is gaining prominence as a source of entertainment. Music can make people laugh or cry, bring memories back, and even inspire them to buy a product. Hence, it is becoming an essential part of marketing.