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Sound Advertising


Sound Advertising: A Review of the Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Music in Commercials on Attention, Memory, Attitudes, and Purchase Intention
David Allan, Ph.D. Department of Marketing Saint Joseph's University Online Publication Date: October 23, 2007 Journal of Media Psychology, Volume 12, No. 3, Fall, 2007

Sound Advertising


This article reviews the empirical studies on the interaction of music and the hierarchy of advertising effects, or specifically attention, memory, attitudes and purchase intention. The most relevant literature is analyzed through the formation of two comprehensive tables of theories and experiments. Music variables such as appeal, fit, melody, mood, tempo, texture, tonality, and valence are shown to influence consumer attitude toward the ad and the brand, recall, pleasure and arousal, and purchase intention. This review provides a summary of the results and the foundation for future research into sound advertising.

Sound Advertising Introduction


It is almost impossible to turn on the radio or the television, or walk into a retail establishment and not witness the marriage of art and commerce. Even before the days of media and malls, music was a major force in consumer marketing. Without exception, music plays a vital role in the interactive process of consumer behavior. The commercial uses of music in marketing account for billions of dollars nationwide. Not surprisingly, this area of study has received considerable attention primarily focused on the impact of music on consumer responses to commercial advertising. There are many stimuli, or environmental cues, that retailers use to affect consumer behavior including music, color, scents, etc. Music is considered to be the most commonly studied stimulus variable (Turley & Milliman, 2000). Most retailers would agree that music is one of their most important considerations and expenses (Yalch & Spangenberg, 1993). Billions of dollars are spent worldwide on music in the retail environment (North & Hargreaves, 1998). Past reviews of experimental evidence in this area have included music as part of a larger review of atmospheric effects (Lam, 2001; Turley & Milliman, 2000), and more narrowly focused on just its effect on shopping behavior (Allan, in press). There are also many stimuli, or executional cues, that advertisers use to affect consumer response to commercials including music, spokespersons, animation, etc. Music is also considered to be the most used executional cue in commercials (Yalch, 1991). Dunbar (1990, p. 200) argued that “music makes you watch or listen [to advertising] in a different way” than commercials without music and adds an emotional dimension to the consumer response to the brand.

Sound Advertising While it should not be surprising that the effect of music on advertising has been extensively researched, it should be surprising that a current, comprehensive, and critical review of the literature has not been completed. Bruner (1990) provided an early collection of relevant research involving music and advertising as part of the literature review for his “Music, Mood and Marketing” but that is now more than a decade old. North and Hargreaves (1997) updated the list as part of a larger chapter (“Music and Consumer Behaviour”) on the commercial and


industrial uses of music (advertising, shops and the music industry) in The Sociology of Music. T This article then, has three purposes. First, it is a review of the most important studies involving music and advertising beginning with the most relevant definitions (Table 1). Second, it is a synthesis and comparison of variables and results. Third, based on what has been done and how it has been executed, it is a foundation and facilitation for future research.

Unique. MacInnis & Park (1991) MacInnis & Park (1991) Wallace (1991) 5 A pitch-related variable that is the configuration of intervals between notes Kellaris & Kent (1991) in the scale such as major and minor modes. Music that is “well-liked” by “ordinary people” (Shuker. The configuration of intervals between pitches on a scale. A time-related variable that controls pace. multipurpose. A complex chemistry of three main controllable elements (time. usually not intense and not tied to a specifiable behavior. A fleeting. 1994) that has had wide exposure and appeal but usually for a fixed period of time. novel lyrics written for a particular advertisement. Music that is prefabricated. pitch and texture). and highly conventional. The position of the music in the advertisement. The extent to which the music arouses emotion-laden memories. Comprised of timbre and orchestra. temporary feeling state.Sound Advertising Table 1 A Summary of Relevant Definitions_______________________________________ Definition________________________________________ Citation__________________ Fit Indexicality Jingle Modality Mood Music Needledrop Placement Popular Music Tempo Texture Tonality The music’s relevance or appropriateness to the central ad message. Gardner (1985) Bruner (1990) Scott (1990) Brooker & Wheatley (1994) Shuker (1994) Kellaris & Kent (1991) Kellaris & Kent (1994) Kellaris & Kent (1994) .

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or “the music’s .Sound Advertising 7 Literature Review The review of literature is divided into two parts. Attitude Theory. 2005) and purchase intention (Brooker & Wheatley. The first part is a discussion of the most cited theories and models including the terms and concepts. The second part is an analysis of the most relevant empirical studies of the effects of music on advertising.. Pitt & Abratt. or “the extent to which the music arouses emotion-laden memories. Shen et al. Fishbein’s (1963) attitude theory. 1994. 1994. is the primary consideration with all research dealing with attitude toward the ad and attitude toward the brand.. many researchers have studied music’s effect on attitude toward the brand in regard to product preference (Allen & Madden. 1982. A summary table follows each section. classical conditioning theory. 1988. 1986. Morris & Boone. Kellaris & Cox. Zhu. Park & Young. 1985.” and fit. Middlestadt et al. 2004). The music variables with regard to attitude toward the brand and the ad that have been most studied are indexicality. These theories and models provide the foundation of music in advertising experimentation and include attitude theory. and music theory. 2006) and purchase intention (Morris & Boone. 1998. Theories and Models Advertising and music have been investigated through many variables with a wide range of outcomes. 1989. North et al. As will be apparent in the results section. 1988. involvement theory especially the elaboration likelihood model (ELM). An analysis of these studies begins with a discussion of the most relevant theories and models. Gorn. that a person’s attitude is a function of his salient beliefs activated from memory at a point in time in a given situation.. 1998). Others have also considered attitude toward the ad and product preference (Macklin.

Furthermore. Involvement Theory in general. 1990. or personal references per minute that a viewer makes between his or her own life and a stimulus” (p. seems to mediate both the acquisition and processing of information through activating a . 1989. Pavlov’s classical conditioning. 1988). or color. Involvement Theory. Salmon (1986) added that “involvement. in any form.” and its effect on the processing of the commercial (MacInnis & Park. suggests that positive attitudes towards an advertised product or a conditioned stimulus. But. such as music. as it relates to advertising. research has produced conflicting results. Kellaris & Cox. The results of two experiments supported the notion that the simple association between a product and another stimulus such as music can affect product preferences as measured by product choice. have been suggested as keys to understanding how music affects responses to advertising. an individual who is in a decision-making mode when exposed to a commercial is more affected by the information therein than an individual who is not in a decision-making mode. usually the brand. Pitt & Abratt. celebrities. 1991). in this case colored pens. Krugman (1965) defined involvement as “the number of conscious bridging experiences. classical conditioning appears to occur unreliably (Kellaris & Cox. Alpert & Alpert. 1989) and then only in case of low involvement consumers. As it stands. 1985. might develop through its association in a commercial with other stimuli like music (he used the theme from “Grease” and classical Indian music). 356). Classical Conditioning Theory. might develop through its association in a commercial with stimuli that are reacted to positively. 8 Gorn (1982) concluded that positive attitudes towards an advertised product. connections. and the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) in particular.Sound Advertising relevance or appropriateness to the central ad message. Many researchers have attempted to extend Gorn’s study but have been unable to replicate his findings (Allen & Madden.

Rubin. Schulkind et al. Bartlett & Snelus. 1969. Music theory. 1976. processing begins. 1999. Hecker. 674). emotion and autobiographical. 1980. there is low involvement and a peripheral (passive) processing route. Petty and Cacioppo suggested that high involvement was the result of a message with high personal relevance. 1991. the receiver will follow one of two “routes” to persuasion: “central” and “peripheral. 1986).Sound Advertising heightened state of arousal and/or greater cognitive activity in an interaction between an individual and a stimulus” (p. Wallace. Bartlett and Snelus (1980) found that cued recall of lyrics of popular songs from 1921 (“When Francis Dances With Me”) to 1974 (“Morning Has Broken”) was higher in response to melodies than in response to titles. original jingle that sounded like a nursery rhyme produced the same recall from children as spoken messages. Schulkind.. Bower & Bolton. When the consumer gives the message a low degree of attention. Park & Young. 264). Galizio & Hendrick. 1972.” When the consumer gives the message a high degree of attention. Macklin (1988) found that messages that were sung in a produced. 1977. Hennis. 1988. there is high involvement and thus a central (active) processing route. Rothschild. 1984. 1994). Researchers that have studied involvement with regard to advertising and music have found that it can positively affect message processing in low involvement conditions (MacInnis & Park. long-term memory of older adults and songs from their . Depending on the personal relevance of this information. ELM assumes that once an individual receives a message. Macklin. and Rubin (1999) observed a correlation between music. The idea that music has the potential to enhance attention (stimulate awareness) and memory (recall) has been widely speculated and researched (Adorno 1941. 1987. Petty and Cacioppo’s (1986) concept of elaboration likelihood refers to “the likelihood one engages in issue-relevant thinking with the aim of determining the merits of the arguments rather than the total amount of thinking per se in which 9 a person engages” (p.

A summary of the most cited theories and models including terms and concepts can be seen in Table 2. Serafine and Repp (1990) suggested an integration effect where the melody or text of a song (using folksongs from Erdei) is better recalled with original text than with different text. Davidson. Rubin 10 (1977) found that recall of information is improved when cued with the melody of a well known song (“Star Spangled Banner”). Some researchers have also observed the enhancement of recall by music. and Crowder. Crowder. Serafine. Serafine. Wallace (1994) found that the melody of a song (using three ballads from “The Frank C. attention and recall but not all studies support this theory. . These results suggest that music in ads has the potential to stimulate emotion. Crowder. and Repp (1984). Galizio and Hendrick (1972) did not observe that memory for verbal information was enhanced by presenting the information in the form of a song (the musical accompaniment of a guitar). and Repp (1986).Sound Advertising youth when testing the Top 20 from 1935 (“On Treasure Island”) to 1994 (“That’s The Way Love Goes”). Brown Collection of North Carolina Folklore) could facilitate recall of text by providing it with musical structure for learning and remembering.

developing attitudes. connections. (1992) Krugman (1965) Music Theory Rubin (1977) Wallace (1994) Schulkind et al. The melody of a song can facilitate recall in certain environments. There is a correlation between music. and generating conative [tendency to move towards] responses occur in a sequential causal chain. The number of conscious bridging experiences. When the consumer gives the message a low degree of attention because it is not relevant. learning and remembering its content. there is low involvement and a peripheral (passive) processing route. emotion and memory. processing begins. When the consumer gives the message a high degree of attention because it is relevant there is high involvement and thus a central (active) processing route. Assumes that once an individual receives a message. or personal references per minute that a viewer makes between his or her own life and a stimulus. Pavlov (1927) 11 Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) Petty & Cacioppo (1986) Hierarchy of Advertising Effects Involvement Thorson et al.Sound Advertising Table 2 A Summary of Relevant Theories and Models ___________________________ Theory____________________________________________________ __Citation________________ Attitude Theory Classical Conditioning Suggests that beliefs are the only mediators of attitude formation and change Fishbein and that a person’s attitude is a function of salient beliefs at a particular (1963) moment. The processes of attending to a commercial. The process of behavior modification by which a subject (dog) comes to respond in a desired manner to a previously neutral stimulus (bell) that has been repeatedly presented along with an unconditioned stimulus (food) that elicits the desired response. (1999) . The recall of information is improved when cued with the melody of a well known song.

Sound Advertising 12 .

instrumentals.. Shen et al. The following is a summary of the most widely observed independent and dependent variables including a continuum. 1996). music tempo (speed or pace). 1991). Music fit has been observed in relation to message processing (MacInnis & Park. 1989. 1988). 1986. Park & Young. Middlestadt et al. 1990. 2006). Independent Variables. Music presence has positively affected product preference and purchase attention when interacting with attitude (Macklin. 1994. 1998. jingles. The impact of music on advertising has been observed with a variety of behaviors when mediated either individually or through the interaction of certain variables. Morris & Boone. 1994. 1985. Finally. . Pitt & Abratt. Alpert et al. 1995. 1991. 1993). and tonality (intervals between pitches in a scale) have been shown to have the potential to enhance pleasure and arousal resulting in a greater purchase intention (Brooker & Wheatley. Wheatley & Brooker.. 1991. 1988.) and recall have been researched (Allan. 2004. 1988. 1994. Roehm. 1982. 1994). Yalch. Different types of music placements/treatments (vocals. texture (timbre and orchestration). modality (intervals between notes). Wheatley & Brooker.Sound Advertising 13 Variables While the amount of consumer behavior theories and models used in the investigation and explanation of music’s effect on advertising may be relatively few. Music appeal (like or dislike) has been observed in relation to product preferences (Allen & Madden. 2001. Kellaris & Rice. etc. 1994) and recall (Macklin.. Kellaris & Kent.. Gorn. 1991. followed by a comprehensive review of the results of the interaction of these variables. 2006a. Wallace. 1994. Kellaris & Cox. North et al. Olsen. 2005. The effect of music arousal or mood (a temporary feeling or state) was studied with purchase intention (Alpert & Alpert. Kellaris & Mantel. the variables have been many and varied.

Sound Advertising Dependent Variables. Brooker & Wheatley. Middlestadt et al. 1996). 1989.. purchase intention can be affected by interaction of music and mood (Alpert & Alpert. Morris & Boone. Perception of ad time can be decreased by arousing music (Kellaris & Mantel. al. Wallace. 1990. Wheatley & Brooker. Alpert et al. Kellaris et. 2004. Zhu. 1994. 1998. 1998. 1991. Attitude toward the ad can be positively influenced by the presence of music (Macklin. Roehm.. Brand recall can be increased by personally relevant and significant music (Allan. Olsen. Shen et al. 2001. Morris & Boone. 2005).. Attitude toward the brand can be improved by appealing music (Allen & Madden. North et al. 1993. 2004. 2006a. 2005. Finally. 1994. Shen et al. When mediated with the above variables. Park & Young. 14 North et. 1994). Gorn. 1985.. North et al. Pleasure/arousal can be affected by not only the tempo but the tonality and texture of the music (Kellaris & Kent. al. 1991. 1982. 1993. 1998. A continuum of dependent variables and the corresponding independent variables that have been observed can be seen in Figure 1. the effect of music in advertising on a variety of consumer responses has also been observed. 1995. Kellaris & Kent. Kellaris & Cox. 1994. Pitt & Abratt.. . 1988. Kellaris & Rice. Brooker & Wheatley.. 1986. 1994). Morris & Boone. 1994). 1994. 1988. Music attitude can be positively affected by tempo (Kellaris & Rice. 1993. 1994. 1991. Kellaris & Kent. 1991. 2006.. 2006). 2004). MacInnis & Park. Macklin. 1988. Brooker & Wheatley. Yalch..

Sound Advertising 15 Figure 1 DV/IV Continuum ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _ Attitude Toward →→ → the Ad Music fit Ad→ →→ Time Music arousal Attitude Toward→→ the Brand Music appeal Music presence Brand→→→ Recall Music fit Music melody Music presence Music tempo Pleasure/→ → → Arousal Music tempo Music texture Music tonality Purchase Intention Music fit Music melody Music modality Music mood Music placement Music presence Music tempo ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _ .

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Brooker and Wheatley (1994). Likewise. Shen & Chen. under some circumstances. and how much it is being used in advertising. a better understanding of the interaction of independent and dependent variables or more conversationally. 1996). The presence of music was shown to affect how a viewer feels when looking at print ads (Morris & Boone. 2004. Ad Time It has been argued that. 1998). The implications of objective time versus perceived time involve the potential benefits to the .. 1996). there is a disparity between objective time and perceived time of the ad and that the latter is affected by external stimuli like music (Kellaris & Mantel. how music affects the processing of the ad. Musical fit resulted in a better attitude toward the ad (North et al. While not a lot of attention has been given to perceived ad time. music’s potential to affect the consumer’s ad attitude has received some attention with conflicting results.Sound Advertising 17 Results Much has been learned about music and advertising since it was first used in commercials in the early days of radio. reported no effect of music placement on attitude toward the ad. Through a survey and analysis of experimental literature and a content analyses of experimental results and their theoretical underpinnings. Since then. 1994. 2006). it is still worth mentioning. Arousal was found to moderate the influence of stimulus congruity on perceived time such that congruity contributed positively to retrospective duration estimates among subjects exposed to soothing (versus arousing) music (Kellaris & Mantel. Macklin (1988) reported no effect of music presence on attitude toward the ad with children. has been achieved. however. What follows is a discussion of the results. Attitude Toward the Ad Shimp (1981) argued that attitude toward the ad (ATTA) is an important mediator when a consumer makes a choice.

North et al. 2006) on attitude depending on its fit. Attitude Toward the Brand Mitchell and Olson (1981) argued that a consumer’s attitude or “internal evaluation” of a 18 brand has always been an important consideration in marketing research. 1994). silence) did affect recall differently under varied conditions (Allan. 1991. that a considerable amount of investigation into music’s effect on attitude toward the brand (ATTB) has been undertaken with a variety of variables and results. it has been suggested that it might be a belief-based rather than an affect-based change (Middlestadt et al. When the music fit. Music presence was also shown to have either no effects (Morris & Boone. Different music treatments (original and altered vocals. It is not surprising then. jingles. Gorn (1982) observed that hearing liked or disliked music can affect product preferences but his results were never replicated (Allen & Madden. Brooker and Wheatley (1994) reported no effect of placement on attitude toward the brand. The presence of music (Blondie’s “Tide Is High”) had a facilitative effect on brand attitude (shampoo and their functional performance) in the low involvement condition and a distracting effect for those in the cognitive involvement condition (Park & Young. 1986).. instrumentals.. 1989. the message processing of the ad was enhanced (MacInnis & Park. 1985. 1988). Pitt & Abratt. . As to how the process of attitude change toward the brand occurs. 2004).Sound Advertising advertiser of increasing memory for the ad while reducing its length (60-second versus 30second commercial). Kellaris & Cox. 1998) or negative effects (Shen et al. Brand Recall Recall of the brand is obviously a primary consideration in the evaluation of the effectiveness of music in advertising.. Macklin (1988) reported no effect of the presence of music on attitude toward the brand with children.

2006). 1994.. Morris & Boone. 1988) and distracting (Wheatley & Brooker. it is maybe a bit surprising that music’s potential to affect moods primarily through pleasure and arousal garnered a significant amount of attention in the 1990’s but not much since. 1996. Shen et al. the results varied with some observing significant effects (Alpert & Alpert. Music tempo (fast) was shown to have positive effects on behavioral intent (Kellaris & Kent.. was shown to stimulate better recall of brands (North et al.Sound Advertising 19 2006a. 1998). Olsen. it was observed that arousing music was found to produce greater degrees of mood enhancement thus positively affecting purchase intention (Alpert & Alpert. Kellaris & Kent. Morris & Boone. 2004. however. 1994). Pleasure and Arousal It has been argued that music is an especially powerful stimulus for affecting moods (Bruner. 1991). 1994. Yalch. 1991) and some observing no significant effects (Brooker & Wheatley. Purchase Intention Since purchase intention or conation was first defined as “behavior directed toward action” (Shanteau & Ptacek.. 2001. 149). 1995). Wallace. 1983. 2005. With regard to purchase intention and music. During that time. Musical fit. The combination of music with silence also has been shown to be attention-getting resulting in the enhancement of purchase intention (Olsen. 1991. 1990. 1994). The placement (Brooker & Wheatley. The presence or absence of music was shown to be both attention-getting (Park & Young. 1991). The effect of . Alpert et al. 1990). 2005. Thus. Kellaris & Mantel. 1998). Alpert et al. 1988) was not observed to affect recall. 1994) or the presence of music (Macklin. The placement of music was shown to invite attention to the message and motivating consumers to process the message and facilitate the potential to purchase (Brooker & Wheatley. it has been one of the most difficult advertising effects to research but arguably the most important. 1995: Roehm. p. 1990..

160) found music featured in slightly more than 40% of 1000 television commercials they studied. Content Analyses Only a few studies have dealt with the amount of commercials on television and radio with 20 music. . Allan (2006b) analyzed commercials in prime-time television and reported that 86% of the unique ads contained some type of music. Stewart and Furse (1986. but that only 12% of those used lyrics to directly convey the advertising message. 29). Morris & Boone. 1994. 1998). Appelbaum and Halliburton (1993) analyzed international commercials and found music in 89% of their sample (p. A summary of the most relevant qualitative and quantitative studies on the effects of music on advertising can be seen in Table 3. Similar frequencies were obtained in a follow-up study (Stewart & Koslow. 1991).Sound Advertising music tempo was shown to have had contradictory results with some reporting a passive effect on purchase intention (Kellaris & Kent. 1989. p. and some reporting no effect (Brooker & Wheatley. p. 237).

Sound Advertising Table 3 Summary of Relevant Effectual Research Involving Advertising and Music___________________ Sample Independent Variables Dependent Variables Results______________________ 21 Citation .

Background music had no significant effect Hearing liked or disliked music while being exposed to a product did not directly affect product preferences. Involvement (high/low) (TV ads) Brand attitude/information Sewall & Sarel (1986) Pitt & Abratt (1988) 200 mall shoppers/ 832 radio ads Music background Brand recall 172 undergraduate Music appeal students Brand attitude . Hearing liked or disliked music while being exposed to a product did not directly affect product preferences. Music had a facilitative effect on brand attitude for subjects in the low involvement condition and a distracting effect for those in the cognitive involvement condition. Allen & Madden (1985) 60 undergraduates Music appeal Brand attitude Park & Young 120 women (1986) Music presence/absence.Sound Advertising 22 Citation Gorn 1982 Sample 244 undergraduates Table 3 (continued)________________________________________________________ Independent Variables Dependent Variables Results___________________________ Music appeal Brand attitude Hearing liked or disliked music while being exposed to a product can directly affect product preferences.

1498 mall shoppers/ 50 TV ads Music had only minor effects. volume. presence Music appeal Ad attitude Brand attitude Brand recall Cognitive/ Affective responses Music did not enhance outcomes.and non-messagebased processing. Alpert & Alpert (1990) Kellaris & Kent (1991) MacInnis & Park (1991) 48 undergraduate students 180 undergraduates 178 undergraduate women Music Music tempo/ modality Music fit/ indexicality (TV ads) Mood Purchase intention Music evaluation Purchase intention Message processing Citation Sample Table 3 (continued)____________________________________________________ Independent Variables Dependent Variables Results_______________________ . mode. (Classical Conditioning) Music had a significant effect on moods and purchase intention. Tempo and Modality influenced arousal and intent. Indexicality and fit affect the processing of both high. Kellaris & Cox 302 (1989) undergraduates Brand attitude No evidence that product preferences can be conditioned through a single exposure to appealing or unappealing music. influencing message.and low-involvement consumers.Sound Advertising 23 Macklin (1988) Stout & Leckenby (1988) 75 preschoolers Music background Presence Music tempo.

(1993) 231 undergraduates Brand recall/ Recognition of brand name and messages Table 3 _________________________________________ (continued)__________________________________________________ Citation Sample Independent Variables Dependent Variables Results_____________________ . Attention-gaining value Brand recall Music provides a retrieval cue. al.Sound Advertising 24 Wallace (1991) 120 subjects Music placementSung/ spoken words (jingles/ ballads) Music placementslogans with and without music (jingles) Music tempo. Kellaris & Rice (1993) 52 undergraduates Music responses Kellaris et. Gender moderates the influence of loudness resulting in females responding more positively to music at lower volumes Increasing audience attention to music enhances message reception when the music evokes message-congruent thoughts. Loudness. Music acts as a frame which the text is tightly fit. Gender Music-message fit. Yalch (1991) 103 undergraduates Brand recall Music enhances memory for advertising slogans when the slogans were incorporated into an advertisement in the form of a jingle or song.

(1994) Wallace (1994) 97 undergraduates 64 undergraduates Music presence Music melody Brand attitude Brand recall Wheatley & Brooker (1994) 144 undergraduate Music students and their presence/absence parents Spokespersons (radio ads) Brand recall Cognitive response .Sound Advertising 25 Brooker & Wheatley (1994) Kellaris & Kent (1994) 100 participants Music tempo/ placement (radio ads) Music tempo/ Tonality/ Texture Ad attitudes Brand attitudes Purchase intention Brand recall Pleasure/Arousal Tempo had effects on perception of music but no effect on DV’s. provided the music repeats so that it is easily learned. Placement had a stronger effect on DV’s. Tempo affected pleasure and arousal. Music hindered message recall and did not enhance attention. Texture moderated tempo and tonality on pleasure. Belief-based change Text is better recalled when it is heard as a song rather than as speech. 288 undergraduates Middlestadt et al. Tonality affected pleasure and surprise.

Sound Advertising 26 Citation Sample Table 3 (continued)_________________________________________________ Independent Variables Dependent Variables Results______________________ .

Sound Advertising 27 Olsen (1995) 144 undergraduate students Music presence/absence (music/silence) Brand recall/ attribute importance Silence effectively increases listener retention of ad information especially when the highlighted information was the last item of a series. No effect on brand attitude or purchase intention. Arousal was found to moderate the influence of stimulus congruity on perceived time such that congruity contributed positively to retrospective duration estimates among subjects exposed to soothing (versus arousing) music. Kellaris & Mantel (1996) 85 undergraduate students Music arousal/ congruity (radio ads) Ad time Morris & Boone (1998) 90 undergraduates Music presence/absence (print ads) Music placement versus vocals (radio ads) Emotional response Brand attitude Purchase Intention Brand recall Roehm (2001) 48 MBA students/44 community people . Vocals produced greater recall of the lyrics if the individuals did not know the song. Instrumentals produced greater recall of the message if the individuals knew the song. Music affected emotional response of print ads.

Sound Advertising 28 Citation Sample Table 3 (continued)____________________________________________________ Independent Variables Dependent Variables Results______________________ .

and purchase intention. Alpert et. Rui & Meyers-Levy. and purchase intention. and claims.Sound Advertising 29 North et. the likelihood of purchasing is enhanced. When music is used to evoke emotions congruent with the symbolic meaning of product purchase. attitude toward the ad. brands. (2004) 162 participants Music/voice fit Attitude toward the ad Brand recall Purchase Intention Musical fit resulted in better recall of products. Joan (2005) Shen & Chen (2006) 77/109 undergraduates 130 students Music meanings (embodied/referential ) Music fit Brand attitude Ad attitude . (2005) 75 undergraduate students Music mood Purchase intention Zhu. al. When the music does not fit (music incongruity) it can have an adverse effect on attitudes toward the ad. Intensive processors are sensitive to music meanings. al. attitude toward the ad. Voice fit resulted in better recall of claims.

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” While much has been done. more attention to the effect of music on brand image. Joint efforts would benefit both parties to better understand “when and why music works in advertising” (p. . the use of different experimental environments. Advertisers and Academics Alpert and Alpert (1991. 1990). irrelevant. 236). p.” Too often the efforts remain separate with the industry findings unavailable. and finally a richer investigation of the effect of music fit and indexicality on advertising. p. These include more collaboration between the private and academic sectors. Many advertisers use popular music in their advertising especially The Gap and Old Navy. it would be beneficial to not only conduct an academicallybased effectual study as well as to correlate the findings with sales results during the campaign. The Gap primarily uses original lyrics with Old Navy utilizing altered lyrics. there is still great “potential for real research into music’s effectiveness” (Dunbar. 7) called music “the catalyst of advertising. 236) called for more “cooperative efforts between academic researchers and industry practitioners applying musical theories to advertising executioners.Sound Advertising 31 Future Research It’s been over twenty years since Hecker (1984. a longitudinal study on the amount of music in advertising.” A number of the studies reviewed have suggested additional research that either has not been undertaken or needs additional investigation. p. p. or inappropriate goals. 102) reinforced in his review of literature that the relevant body of research was indeed still “meager” and North and Hargreaves (1997. 282) concluded that the “field is [still] under-investigated. Since they are both owned by the same parent company. Bruner (1990.” He suggested that “researchers can better understand and use this magic if they understand that music is too important to be wasted on amorphous.

and Stannard (1990) recommended that additional research was needed in this area. 248) suggested further study into the effects of musical components on the processing of verbal material (e. jingles. instrumentals. 1994. only Appelbaum and Halliburton (1993) and Allan (2006b) heeded this recommendation by analyzing international commercials. especially popular music. in advertising. advertising messages). In a later report. more needs to also be known about the effects. p. eBay. p.Sound Advertising 32 At the very least. 130). while comparisons have been made between some placements/treatments (vocals/instrumentals. p. private research should be made available to the academic community to verify the results and provide a practical basis for the use of music in advertising. Old Navy).g. p. Kellaris and Kent (1991. song lyrics.. Additionally. Stewart. Nonetheless. should be conducted to track its proliferation and progression. This could include more diverse demographics and “the role of listener characteristics in shaping responses to music (Kellaris & Kent.g. Since the use of popular music in advertising continues to prosper. a larger study needs to be done comparing all possible treatments (vocals. 397). In fact. 160) lamented the absence of its systematic measurement and set out to provide such documentation. . A longitudinal investigation of the amount of music in advertising. altered vocals.). 2001. Stewart and Furse (1986. etc. and a control treatment of silence). More needs to be done with popular music and altered lyrics (e. 1990. Farmer. especially popular music. It is also clear that we need further “investigations of advertisements with songs that represent varied styles of popular music” (Roehm. 57). p. Advertising and Popular Music It is clear that there is a need to more consistently quantify and trend the use of music. Also apparent is the need for further research into the role of background music (Alpert & Alpert.

” It is clear that many advertisers are using music to create an image (e. A related area of consideration is the use of music in the imaging of a brand as a distribution channel (e.Sound Advertising 33 Finally.g.g. p. The effects of advertising and media on popular music could also be investigated.” Clearly. Grey’s Anatomy). 223) called for more research into “the contribution made by music to brand image. iPod). some popular music and artists are actually being exposed and “branded” through advertising (e.g.g.. 100). Far too many studies continue to be done in isolated lab environments. One possible idea would be to observe and survey customers in The Gap or Old . What is not so clear is music’s effectiveness or the implications for the music and/or artists (e. This can be done as part of a longitudinal study. McChesney (2001) called popular music and advertising the “bankruptcy of culture” and Burns (1996) called it “disturbing and even shocking. Brand Image Stout and Lechenby (1988.g. U2)... Bruner (1990) agreed and called for the raising of “level of experimental sophistication” (p.. 234) argued that “we must not let our methods drive our theories but must instead design our methods in a way that can encompass whatever theory seems articulate enough to fully describe the phenomenon. more attention needs to be given to the social and ethical implications of the use of popular music and advertising. Starbucks).” Advertisers who use it consider it a “marriage of art and commerce” and Allan (2005) suggested that the combination of popular music and advertising creates “a new cultural product. Each of these areas of research is certainly underdeveloped and warrants further investigation..” Studies need to be conducted under more realistic viewing and listening conditions. p. Additionally. Modest Mouse) and placement in television shows (e. Environments Scott (1990.

It may be that music can influence a person’s involvement with advertising due to some conceptualization of involvement (Zaichkowsky. p. and the type of music in particular. 1991. due to their growing distribution of music.and low-involvement consumers’ ad processing” (MacInnis & Park. Fit and Indexicality More studies need to further investigate fit (a person’s perception of the music’s relevance) 34 and indexicality (a person’s emotion-laden memories). more focus needs to be given to “the study of executional cues and their processing implications for high. or situational characteristics. A great deal of contemporary advertising utilizes classic rock music evidently targeted towards 25-54 males. Starbucks provides a potentially effective field experiment location. 1986) such as personal. Additionally. It is clear from this review that music has been shown to both positively and negatively .Sound Advertising Navy when their respective advertisements are played in the store. not to mention fit. It may certainly be involving to both demographics with much different indexicality. That’s the easy part but not very helpful to an agency trying to advise an advertiser on whether or not to use music and what music to use. yet some teenagers are also listening to this genre of music from the 1970s. must be carefully chosen with the target audience and the desired outcome driving the selection. This research can be expanded to look at various genres and eras of music with special attention given to the personal relevance of the music/effect of processing (ELM). Conclusion So is your advertising sound if you use sound in advertising? The research suggests that music is more likely to positively than negatively affect the consumer’s response to your advertising. The use of music in general. Further investigation must be conducted to determine the consequences. 172). object. Additionally.

Sound Advertising 35 stimulate a variety of responses including attention. D. The stimulation of these responses is different based on various characteristics of the music itself including its appeal. attitude. 1-11. (2006b). D. Studies in Philosophy and Social Sciences. Introduction to the sociology of music. and purchase intention. 46(4). That “sounds” rather trite but it’s true. San Francisco. when used effectively. mood. New York: The Seabury Press. An essay on popular music in advertising and popular music: Bankruptcy of culture or marriage of art and commerce. T. Paper presented at the Association for the Education of Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). (1976). presence. Journal of Advertising Research. Allan. Advertising & Society. Effects of popular music on attention and memory in advertising. etc. 6(1). D. (1941). Allan. What we do know from this overview of research on music and advertising is that. On popular music. An advertiser should not just use any music in a commercial just for the sake of using music. 17-48. 9. It should be carefully chosen and tested to predict its potential to stimulate a positive response for the brand and/or the ad with the ultimate goal of branding and purchase. There is also much research that needs to be done and this review also provides direction and motivation. (2005). (2006a). Allan. W. tempo. REFERENCES Adorno. So it’s complicated. Popular music placement in prime-time television commercials. background or foreground. Adorno. CA. it can be effective. . In the case of its appeal. W. different genres of music from different eras affect different demographics of consumers differently. There is a substantial amount of research out there to guide the advertiser and this review provides the foundation for that process. T.

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