The secret to a successful video ad is utilizing as many senses as possible. Sound is one of the most crucial senses that advertisers target. Not just the sound of a guy in a suit trying to sell you insurance or a lady exalting a certain brand of tampons, but sound that is unforgettable, sound that continually plays in your mind long after seeing the advert. In other words, really good and catchy music.
Some of the most famous ads in history have their signature music to thank. There was Amazon Kindle with the song Fly Me Away by Annie Little, Jeep Wave with The Clapping Song by Shirley Ellis and McDonald’s with A Minha Menina by Os Mutantes. The songs ensured that these ads went viral and were virtually unforgettable.
The Role of Music in Promotional Videos
The primary role of music in video advertisements is to enhance the effect the ad has on the viewers. In most advertisements, the music accounts for more than half of the impact. It ensures that if nothing else, people remember the catchy tunes. This is why some ads live on for years, sometimes decades, after they were made.
Another major role of music is to drive home the message in the ad. Some adverts use music for simply their entertainment value. Viewers get to associate the good feelings of the song with the brand. Others include a song that goes in line with what is being advertised. This helps to reinforce the main message. A perfect example is the Toyota RAV4 ad that plays the popular hip-hop hit by Skee-Lo, “I Wish”.
In other cases, music is there to provide a nice background. This is often the case when the ad contains a lot of dialogue. Imagine watching a movie with no background music. Most of the background music used in advertisements is instrumental. A good example of a popular ad that uses music this way is the 2012 Super Bowl ad “Halftime in America”.
As you can see, music is pretty important for any promotional video. If used well, it can be very effective in creating a memorable advertisement. In this age of the internet and a gazillion social sites, getting your video to go viral is important for branding. Music can help achieve this too. But most importantly, well placed music draws new customers to your product.
Using Music in Promotional Videos
For ad music to have all the benefits mentioned above, it must be used correctly. Using the wrong music in an ad can have a devastating effect on your brand. The internet is not very forgiving.
The first question you need to ask yourself is; what is the goal of this video? Is it to sell a specific product? Is it to create entertainment value and go viral? Is to change the market’s perception of your brand? Understanding your goal will help you choose the right music. If for instance you are selling a specific product, you need to make sure that the ad, including the music used, elicits strong emotions in people.
Another important factor to consider is the kind of advertisement you are producing. A car advertisement will use lots of energetic, foreground music. If an ad for a technical product did the same, the music might take attention away from the main message. In this case, foreground music that supports the dialogue would work best.
Other factors to consider include target market (you cannot use the same music for 18-22 year olds as for older adults), brand principles (is the song in line with what your brand stands for?) and current pop culture (for some ads a song from the 60s might not work as well as a song by Taylor Swift).
Having seen the importance of music in promotional videos, do not be modest about the time and money you invest in getting a catchy tune for your marketing video. Do extensive research before making a final decision and if possible, consider hiring an expert to help you like eir did it in their rebrand video. If you are planning to use original music, you may have to hire a professional composer.
In all this, it is important to have a budget. You probably do not have the same resources as McDonald’s but you can still create something great that is within your budget. Be creative, understand your audience, know your goal and hire professional help.