Our disregard for the importance of music shows when we look at research literature. Of over 48,000 articles on the WARC database, only 10% of them mention music at all. Only 29 (less than 0.1%) discuss it in any detail. But the research that has been done on the effects of music suggests these are far greater than we seem to assume.
Research shows that music increases the attention paid to ads as well as recall of brand and message. We suspect these effects may be very long term. Think about the ads we remember word for word from childhood – it’s highly likely they used music.
It’s striking how often music is central to these famous campaigns. It’s estimated that the free media exposure arising from the music in John Lewis’s Christmas ad each year increases campaign impact by around 75%.
Given all this, it’s perhaps not surprising that the IPA Databank shows that TV ads using music prominently are significantly more effective than ads that don’t, enhancing effectiveness by 20-30%.
So, over a fifth of the effect of an ad may come from its music – meaning choice of music can easily determine whether or not the ad pays for itself.
That’s too important to leave to the last minute.