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The Use of Sound and Music in Commercial Contexts

It’s no secret that certain sounds, and especially music, can elicit emotional responses from the listener.

For centuries, music was seen (or rather heard) as a form of entertainment. In the modern era, however, it has also become a potential means of influencing consumers.
Recent research in the fields of neurology and psychology has revealed the ability of certain sounds and musical sequences to directly influence the brain of the listener.

Medium of Choice

For many advertisers, music, especially in the form of the catchy 'jingle' has become the medium of choice.

This is an aspect of what has come to be known as ‘multi-sensory branding.’ As its name implies, multi-sensory branding relies on multiple senses (especially sight and hearing) to get its message across.

In terms of mental processing, music and language (both of which are heard rather than seen) are intimately connected. Music, however, invokes more of the brain’s neural regions than does language and tends to produce a more stimulating experience on the part of the listener.

The Jingle

A mix of both music and language, the ad ‘jingle’ remains one of the most effective tools in the marketer’s arsenal. Suitable for use on almost any medium (radio, television, online, etc.), a successful jingle can dramatically raise a brand’s profile in the public consciousness.
By remaining in the listener’s mind long after an advertisement is over, the jingle establishes lasting familiarity between consumer and brand. Experts have dubbed this phenomenon ‘musical lingering.’

This is only one of many examples of how sound and music can be used in commercial contexts.