Novel or Consistent Music? An Electrophysiological Study Investigating Music Use in Advertising

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Music has become an integral part of advertising. But which is the best approach to music use: strategic (the same piece of music used consistently across consecutive advertising campaigns) or tactical (consecutive advertising campaigns using different pieces of background music)? The present study monitored electrical brain responses of participants while they were presented with existing TV and radio adverts with strategic, tactical, or no music. Adverts with strategic music were liked more, found more familiar, and more impactful for radio than TV adverts. The neural correlates of music usage were characterized by the β- and γ-band oscillations, especially in the frontal regions, reflecting an enhanced preferential engagement. Further, adverts with strategic music were associated with a larger frontal asymmetry, suggesting for a potentially positive affective response. Furthermore, we observed an increased and sustained neural effect of strategic versus tactical music use in radio adverts. Together these findings offer novel indications for an optimum use of background music to promote advert effectiveness.

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