Musical Cues Significantly Enhance Ad Recall!

62% of respondents recalled seeing an advertisement for a particular product when given a verbal cue, compared to 83% of the respondents who were given a 10 second musical cue. 

Successful long-term radio & TV advertisers benefit from the instant recall and consistent branding that a jingle provides. 

“Journal of Advertising Research”

Use and Effectiveness of Musical Cues in Advertising 

An alternative to traditional prompted advertising research techniques is the use of musical cues to elicit responses from consumers. Music can play a major part in advertising effectiveness.  Songs and jingles can cut-through to achieve reach, and increase the longevity of a campaign by residing in the consumer’s mind. Renowned author and strategist Max Sutherland comments that ‘the inclusion in an ad of a tune that is already well known can help to get attention as well as set the appropriate mood and act as a memory jogger  

A specific song or tune, can also create cohesion for different campaigns over time, such as the “Oh what a feeling – Toyota” jingle which has created an audio-based brand message for Toyota cars.  Music definitely has a unique roll as an advertising tool, justifying its high presence within the advertising environment today.  Sutherland suggests music is unique because it is processed differently to spoken messages, and somehow takes the edge off the ‘buy it’ push.   

In a recent survey from the Journal of Advertising Research[2], consumers’ responses to advertising campaigns were investigated with approximately 3000 subjects with a split of musical and verbal cues.  Results showed that 62% of respondents recalled seeing an advertisement for a particular product when given a verbal cue, compared to 83% of the respondents who were given a 10-second musical cue.   

[1] Sutherland M & Sylvester A, (2000), Advertising and the Mind of the Consumer 

St Leonards, Allen & Unwin 

[1] Stewart D, Farmer K & Stannard C, (1990), Music as a recognition cue in advertising-tracking studies 

Journal of Advertising Research, Aug-Sep v30 n4 p3