When the creative team wants music, do you write the brief to include words like ‘energetic’, ‘youthful’ and ‘driving’? Are you still just looking for a track that makes your visual look amazing and sort of aims at your target market? Are you looking at streaming figures or social media heat data to support your choice? Do you ever stop and ask anyone outside the editing suite what are the chances of this working and delivering the right message? Or are you still relying on subjective intuition? And to get topical, are you still judging your success by a Cannes Lion?

Or, are you moving towards measuring the effectiveness of your work? (And by now you may be asking, “should I even care?”)

In true soundlounge style, we give you the latest research to explore and answer some of these questions. This week, Radiocentre and Neuro-Insight published their white paper  ‘Hear and Now’ – a great play on words we thought!

The research explores how creating relevant context between the creative aspects of an advert, the music, and the target market/task can increase impact in behavioural response by 25%.

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The results in this paper suggest that when all the elements in a commercial are aligned, memory encoding and engagement can boost ad performance by 94%. That is a finding that is hard to ignore.

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For the non-scientists amongst you we bring you the headlines, the elements that will help you create more powerful commercials when music is part of that decision-making process.

It all starts when we hear music, which excites neural pathways much faster than any other stimuli – faster than smell, touch and sight.

When the music signals enter the brain, it sends messages to the parts responsible for emotion, behaviour, motivation, memory, and mood and sensations of pain. The right music lights up the brain like an Xmas tree and we are in a heightened sense of awareness.

Align all the stimuli and the brain releases dopamine. This dopamine release is responsible for the chills in our spines, our hairs standing on end and why we experience goose bumps (which are also known as piloerections – yes you read that right!).

Now you have the stimuli that increases impact in behavioural response by 25%.

What all of this tells us is that to successfully engage your consumer:

  • the audio and the visual must be diegetic (where what they hear is what they see)
  • the audio must be matched correctly to the target market
  • the audio and the context (or the placement of the ad) must be aligned.

Finding music that hits all these criteria doesn’t mean your creativity is compromised. As we recently explained to an agency creative team, the data is not there to tell you what to do, it’s there to tell you what is working and what is not. The ultimate creative choice is still where it belongs.

The truth is, with these kinds of insights, you could be up for two awards – Creative and Effectiveness. What’s not to like about that?

-Ruth Simmons & Kerry Schofield

For more information on how this all works contact Kerry on 020 7724 2420 or at kerry@soundlounge.co.uk.