People in the United States come across an estimate of sixty billion video advertisements on broadcast each year, and about three-fourths of those video commercials use music to some degree. True enough, there are two things that you might have thought of when you watched some video advertisement without music: that it made use of silence effectively, thereby creating a positive impact on your mind, or that it was quite a bore and unappealing, thereby making the ad easier to forget. Most of the time, the second one happens, as music is able to create emotions and moods in video media advertising.
Music in Television Commercials
A research published in the Journal of Advertising Research in September 2008 showed a content analysis of music in prime-time television advertising. The research, entitled A Content Analysis of Music Placement in Prime-Time Television Advertising showed that 94% of the total 3,456 advertisements and 86% of the 715 unique ads contained music. About 14% of those contained popular music, and 5% used jingles.
The figures show that more and more advertisements use music in video advertising because of many advantages that it could bring about. Advertisers nowadays include music to create mood in video advertising, as opposed to the usual print advertisements which are very subjective.
In addition, there are lots of uses of music in advertising. David Huron of Musical Quarterly in 1989 had stated about 6 of its uses, namely:
1. Entertainment – good music makes a video advertisement more attractive, therefore engaging the audience’s attention.
2. Structure/Continuity – music effectively builds up the advertisement’s story in just a matter of thirty seconds.
3. Memorability – music increases recall of a product’s or company’s name because music lingers in the mind as opposed to a simple voiceover.
4. Lyrical Language – it conveys a message in a non-spoken way, as logical language is actually less powerful than the emotional and poetic language found in vocal music.
5. Targeting – music makes sure that messages are directed to the advertisers’ particular target audience, eliminating wasted & misdirected messages.
6. Authority Establishment – music enhances the video advertisement’s credibility because it creates a genuine appeal to its audience.
Sonic Branding: Establishing Brands through Sounds
In the January 2009 issue of Admap, Peter Matthews has written about the use of sounds in brands in an article titled Sonic Branding: said that it has been proven that Sonic branding can be advantageous over visual branding because of the emotional triggering it causes.
Admittedly, most video advertising uses music because of its tendency to create an emotional connection to their desired audience. Music has the power to create a certain mood, therefore evoking more emotions and connecting that particular emotion to your company or product.
Such different uses of music in video productions are now being utilized by marketers and video advertisers. Not only does it help them carry their desired message, but it also makes sure that such advertisements carry the right messages. It would be a waste of money to spend on misunderstood advertisements.
Because of music’s powers, it is widely used not only in video advertising, but also in film and movies because it can convey a lot of emotions and moods without even needing too many verbal words. Scenes’ emotions can be heightened or intensified without the need for extravagant editing or effects – just with the use of music.
Video advertisements should never only be focused on the advertisements visuals; there should be a harmonious balance between the use of audio and video in such advertisements. Music is a part of audio, and it should seamlessly work together with the video to effectively relay the marketers’ desired messages to their particular audiences.
Of course, some video advertisements are better off without music, but these always depend from case to case. Most of the time, the best video commercials which leave lasting impressions in the minds of their target audiences are those ads with perfect mixtures of audio and video.
So the next time you watch a video advertisement, try to mute the audio – you would see a different message and effect as compared to watching it with the music on.
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