For centuries, humans have known that music has the power to evoke emotions and memories. Advertisers have been able to leverage music based advertising appeals to create catchy jingles and commercials that reinforce branding while enticing sales. Learn when music appeals work well and how to create strong neuroscience based advertising pieces utilizing music.

What are Music Appeals?

Music appeals are ad creative that employ the use of music in the form of a song or a jingle. This form of neuroscience marketing can either employ a piece of well-known music or create a new tune for the commercial, as long as it has consumer appeal.

Because the music used is in these ads is catchy, it has the potential to appeal to a wide range of audience members and to get in consumers’ heads. Music appeals can thus be a good way for brands on a budget to stretch their ad dollars and create something that will appeal to a wider range of their target audience. Musical appeals can also help companies with limited brand recognition become more of a household name by tying brand recall to the catchy tune.

Musical appeals work well when consumers have grown weary of advertisements for a product or service and could benefit from a fresh perspective. Most of all, music makes ads more fun for consumers and can re-engage them.

Companies that have used musical appeals successfully include Kit Kat, whose “Gimme a Break” jingle is fun and catchy.

Levi’s and Nike are two other brands who frequently use music in their ad creative to capture consumer attention, better connect with their target audience, and ultimately to drive sales.

You may either select music that has words or choose a wordless melody. The latter can work well if the music is but one aspect of the ad creative, or if you are using a voice over to evoke data points for a rational appeal yet want to highlight emotion and positively impact brand recall as well. United Airlines has a well-known instrumental ad campaign that illustrates the effectiveness of using non-lyric music in ad creative.

When to Use Music Appeals

Since there are so many types of music, these appeals can work well for a range of products or services. To ensure the ad creative works as desired, it’s essential to choose (or create) the right type of music and to secure the appropriate rights beforehand. Companies or brands who use music without securing the rights can get sued (and find themselves in need of a new ad) if the rights holder becomes angry.

An ad that’s meant to be catchy can backfire if the music chosen is not also edgy, fun, or unique. If the type of music chosen for the ad creative does not resonate with the target audience, the ad may not be successful. Hip hop music would connect with a young generation but may fail to convince baby boomers that a product or service is right for them.

Apple’s iPod ads appealed to a broad range of consumers by using the same visual setup and different types of music. This way, the brand could connect to its full target audience with specific neuroscience based advertising appeals.

As a standalone type of emotional advertising or in tandem with other ad appeals, music can freshen your brands image, capture consumer attention around a new product or service, or help you make an impactful statement. Flexible, entertaining, and engaging, music appeals work for a wide range of businesses, brands, and uses.