When Brandsense and Millward Brown asked consumers what ratios they attributed to vision: sound in their advertising and marketing, they responded in a loud 58%: 41% (with the reliable 1% not knowing!) But of more significance when they asked Advertisers the same question of time and money, they ‘guestimated’ 84.2%: and less than 12.% with about 4% having no idea at all.

Like the rest of us, when the economy is tough, Brands are demanding more value. As a Marketing Director, you want investments not costs. You want reassurance that in a busy market place that your brand messaging is cutting through to your target markets and you want quantifiable ROI.

So there you are in the editing suite, 3 days before play-out and need to make a decision between 4 pieces of music to use for your latest campaign. The reality is that the creative team have changed their mind at the last minute from the music that has been tested 6 weeks ago in pre prod research. The Account team is now asking you to make a choice between 3 tracks that range from £750K to £21K.

How do you make that decision? What are your benchmarks? How do you know which one works best for your European campaign? In the current market this scenario plays out many, many times. With approximately 320 conversations going on in London Agencies a week about music and sound, you are not alone.  And too often, time to clear, availability of the track and what is left in the budget have become those benchmarks.

The hard truth is that with current ways of curing and securing music you the only way you find out if the track decision was the right one is about €7.5 million and six months later at post production testing.

Yet, if branding is to work, everything that the consumer knows, hears and expects about your brand, should be ‘harmonious’ and resonate with your consumers. Professor Charles Spence calculated that as and when this happens there is what he calls a ‘super additive’ effect, which enhances the experience of the commercial by 1200% with more than a 25% propensity to buy.

With figures like that being discussed why shouldn’t you expect the same from sound and music and even have a space for your RMI – Return on Music Investment, in your balance sheet.  It can be done and you should be asking for rationalisation of a creative idea even if that currently sounds like an oxymoron….