How Music Changes Marketing

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Advertising and Marketing Today

I am consistently surprised by advertising and marketing today.  Usually in a not-so-good way.  But I love what is happening lately with music and how it is leading the way when it comes to commercials, TV, and movies.  What does it mean?  It means that the “soul” is still being considered by some marketers and advertisers during a time when appealing to the soul of the consumer is either not considered or often overlooked.

The Appeal of Music

Of course, marketers try to appeal to the brain with smart advertising or to the funny bone with humorous ads.  But music gets right to the soul.  We can see evidence of the impact music has to sell a movie or supplement a television show when you consider the recent Best Song Nominations at the Oscars.  Also consider how cable station AMC uses music to create mood in shows like The Walking Dead – this latest offering, Blackbird Song by Lee DeWyze, is one of my new favorites.  This really is not a new practice when you consider Celine Dion and Titanic, Randy Newman and Toy Story, or long-gone TV shows like Dawson’s Creek and Gilmore Girls which always featured new and interesting artists and their music.

Straight to Soul

The heart and soul are tugged by music.  We remember lost love, beautiful moments in our history, sad times, silly days, crazy nights clubbing, our childhood, and sweet times with family and friends…  We are captivated by music – it reaches inside like the smell of grandma’s cookies or the attic where old toys collect dust.  We are suckers for it – and good marketers know it…

Despite horrific and poorly defined musical marketing attempts like the Harlem Shake or Gangnam Style – good wrapped in a pink musical bubble continues to pop and evolve around us.  I love this evolution and revolution. Many of us were drawn to Baz Luhrmann’s recent take on The Great Gatsby, in part because of the musical paint brush he swept across the screen.  Disney continues to rake in the millions with excellent scoring, composing, and vocal performances which are mimicked over and over again, much to the delight of children everywhere and the eventual dismay (bordering on disgust) by their parents.

The Power of Music

Consider Frozen‘s Oscar winning song, Let it Go and the multiple versions that have been released and embraced across social media or the use of Pharrell William’s toe-tapping “Happy” in a Fiat 500 commercial with Sean Combs and the creation of a 24 Hours of Happy website – where the song plays for 24 hours a day, every day. And even the power of the score behind Top Recruiter. This is innovative marketing done right.  Music is used to sell a movie, a car, a beer, an artist… but we like it and we let it.  Why? Ask your soul.

Reaching into the Heart

Content needs to reach into the heart – whether it’s music or the written word, video or audio – it needs to capture – and the soul goes willingly.  I look forward to what marketing and advertising in the HR Tech world will achieve over the next year…


by Rayanne Thorn



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