Does Music Really Matter? It Does For The Top 10 Ads

July 4, 2010

It’s the July 4th long weekend in the U.S. and my cousins are visiting me here north of the border. I have always associated this weekend with a John Phillips Sousa musical replete with brass section-heavy bombastic music to accompany fireworks that light up the night sky. And then I wonder aloud “why do the Americans love a show so much?” Americans do a really good show, whether it be a musical, a movie or a car ad. And they know that you need the whole package to be successful--images AND music that really get viewers hooked and that’s what makes them come back for more. And then I came a cross an article about the top 10 songs in ads for last year in the U.S. and quickly saw that four of the top ten were for cars ads. And I began to ponder and pontificate about how important music is to car ads.

This list had some interesting commercials and tunes and all for different manufacturers and each had a different type of music to go with the ad. It’s amazing what a piece of music can do for a car ad. My father still hums Chevrolet commercial tunes from his youth. My father-in-law remembers the ditties for a moped from when he was a teenager. I remember the “Have you driven a Ford lately” tune from when I was younger. We’re hard-wired to love and understand music.

I can even recall one Mitsubishi ad that had such great music I wound up hunting down the name of the band (Yves Klein Blue) and buying their album. I didn't, however, buy a Mitsu but I did appreciate the music in the ad and watched religiously every time it came on. Who knows, maybe one day I will succumb and buy an Evo (providing my wife has lost her painfully pragmatic German nature due to a brain-injury and I still have a few bucks on the bank account).

I am not here to say that good music will change your mind and convince you to buy a certain brand, but it does enhance the experience when checking out ads. There is no denying that. It can only serve to enhance a brand’s reputation as being creative or cool. VW is a great example of this.

But back to the list. Check out these four ads from the Top 10 music in ads, listen to them and tell me if it enhances the experience, or if you would have rather had the sound off. Or replaced by some deep, male, gravelly voice that is meant to impart a false sense of seriousness and security (tired, old cliche). I think these ads all work well, what do you think? And can you find find a better list of ads and tunes. I’d love to know.

Mercedes Benz: Christmas Factory

Toyota Prius: Harmony

2010 Cadillac SRX: Stills

Lincoln MKZ: Space Oddity


 

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