I am very passionate about music. Music moves me, makes me feel nostalgic and incites a lot of emotion in me—which could make me connect with a brand that uses music I like.
That’s why companies pick popular or familiar music because there’s a better chance of people liking it or connecting with it. Popular bands are licensing their music to big brands more than ever before. I wonder, is it a cash grab by these bands or are they really into the various brands? I’m guessing it’s a cash grab, and that doesn’t make me feel good about these bands or brands. It feels like they are “selling out,” and that doesn’t sit well with me.
That said, when music really fits a video and enhances it—like these two below do very well—the spots get me pumped up. In these cases I like the music; it gets me excited and I do actually remember the brands.
Motorhead is featured in a new KIA commercial.
Led Zeppelin is featured by Cadillac in their new commercial.
While music may not make you buy something, it can help you remember a brand, which it did for me in these cases.
On the other hand Walmart using the Bee Gees, Whitesnake, The Who and other popular music is interesting. It gets me to look up from my phone to see what’s on TV, but then I’m left disappointed when I see it’s Walmart, a brand which I already have a negative feeling toward. Does this music help change my mind about the Walmart brand? Not really.
NFL Monday Night Football music makes me RUN to the TV because I love football, and to me that song means football is going to start. It has longevity with the brand as well. Hearing it for so many years brings recognition to another level. In this case, for me, it works really well.
So, do ads with music perform better than ads without? According to a Nielsen evaluation from a few years ago they do:
In conclusion, for me, the right music with the right brand can really enhance an ad and help you remember it. However, when music is just picked because it was popular and doesn’t really fit the brand, it just doesn’t work.