Clearcast reports that on average, 60,000 TVCs are made annually in the UK. If only half of those commercials used music, that’s 30,000 tracks, or 250 hours of music. Taking into account the use of library music, original compositions and commercial tracks, that adds up to over £300 million spend on music every year.

From this we can determine that brands and advertisers love music. They love its emotive qualities, its ability to manipulate, bring people together and ability to help commercials win awards. However, while agencies and brands love awards, brands also love testing and although brands tend to plan and test heavily in every other areas of marketing, music is often a major exception.

So with that much money being spent, shouldn’t we be able to put a value on the impact of music long before the awards ceremony kicks off. It appears not. Historically, in terms of creative decisions, music has remained elusive to the rigors of the testing so scrupulously applied to every other stage of the process.

Over the last few years, a wealth of metrics have become available to those who wish to understand how to put a value on the music they use. This ranges from basic music psychometric testing to identifying what music is genuinely resonating with the brand’s target market. From the CFO’s perspective, to have metrics that rationalize creative decisions against ROI is invaluable.

It’s often said that music is a powerful marketing tool, that it not only has the ability to add credibility to a brand by building on an emotional relationship with a consumer. Truly understanding and applying these disciplines will shift the perception of music from a somewhat expensive indulgence to actually making it easier for planning. Production and marketing teams will be able to justify their budget requirements and creative teams will get the music they really want.

So, considering there seems to be consensus on the power of music’s role in advertising (confirmed by the enormous budgets spent on it every year), it’s seems strange that there is such a reliance on ‘instinct’ when it comes to using music in commercials. While creativity is still at the core of music selection (and should remain so), we ask if perhaps more rationalization could be applied to the process? If you feel the same, give us a call and we can help you do just that.

Ruth Simmons, CEO.