A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about sensory marketing and how marketers use our five senses to attract our attention. Our sense of hearing is important, but it’s difficult to associate a particular sound or song to a specific brand or product.
Marketers and advertisers realize this, and as a result they try to find the best music to include in their commercials.
Sometimes the songs they select are a huge success and will forever be associated with that particular brand or product, like NBC’s infamous chime. Other times though, customers will mute the TV when they hear the beginning notes for an ad.
I’ve found some great examples of commercials that effectively use music, and I’ve asked others about the commercials they hate hearing. Here’s what I found!
The Best of the Best: Commercials with Effective Music
1. One of my favorite songs has been included in United Airlines’ ads for a few years now. Glenn Miller Orchestra’s rendition of George Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ may not ring any bells, but after listening to it you’ll recognize it:
2. One of our resident video game fans, Jeff, suggested the Gears of War trailer featuring ‘Mad World’ by Michael Andrews as an awesome example. After watching it, I completely agree with him! The song itself is really powerful, but add in the images of the game and you’ve got yourself one powerful ad!
3. This next ad has mixed reviews — some love it, while others can’t stand it. I like it and still chuckle when it comes on TV, so I included it on my “best” list. It’s unique, because instead of singing Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ the actors speak the lyrics, until you get closer to the end…
4. I can’t remember which sporting event I was watching when I first saw this next commercial, but I remember bobbing my head along to it even after it ended. It’s just catchy enough to be memorable, but not one that I’ll remember in fifteen years from now and cringe.
5. I loved this ad Amazon did for their Kindle a few years ago. It features Annie Little’s ‘Fly Me Away’ and didn’t look like anything else that was on TV during the time. Since then, there have been similar commercials with different music, but the same look.
The Best of the Worst: Commercials with Misplaced Music
8. I’m not afraid to admit it: the first few times I heard LMFAO’s ‘Party Rock Anthem,’ I sang along (and did, in fact, ‘party rock’ to it). However, this song was not only overplayed on the radio, but every single store started playing it, and then came the dancing hamsters. Kia, I love you; your cars may be stylish and affordable, but this commercial immediately makes me change the channel.
11. I asked a few friends which ads they loved and hated, and someone recommended this one from Golden Grahams from the 1980s. I didn’t remember it, but after watching it just once I can see how this would get really annoying, really quick. I guess if you wanted to, you could blame it on the 80s, but that it isn’t fair to blame an entire decade for this rendition of The Turtles’ ‘Happy Together’!
Another annoyance I have is the number of times these ads are played. Repetition is part of marketing, and I understand that they need to be played a lot so that they capture new audiences tuning in at different times. But I hate watching a thirty-minute show and seeing the same ad four times! My advice would be to space out the number of times it’s aired and vary the channels it’s shown on, too.
Personal annoyances aside, to all the marketers and advertisers out there:
Please be creative and don’t be afraid to try something new! I can’t guarantee it won’t flop, but at least it’s one less outlet to deal with crazy ranting customers.
Do you have a favorite commercial that uses music to sell to customers? Do you find it effective? Are you angry at me for having you watch the really bad examples? Sound off below!