Study shows the music soundtrack is crucial to the success of advertising

The young generation have a greater appetite for music than ever before.

As younger Australian music fans increasingly flex their buying power, they’re sending a message to the advertising and marketing worlds – we want more music. A new study from audio branding specialist PHMG show that 75% of 18 to 24-year-olds and 62% of under 45s say music helps them feel more connected to a brand, compared to just 41% of those aged 55 and over. Australians tend to be ruled by music more so than their British cousins. The same study showed 51% for 18-24 year olds, 49% for under-45s and 27% for 55 and over.
The company’s director of music and voice Daniel Lafferty says: “It’s clear from the research that marketing departments across the country need to rethink how they can integrate audio into the marketing mix. Younger consumers engage better with brands that carefully consider audio, and make assumptions about the professionalism and reliability of the brand according to the sounds they hear.”
“If businesses want to ensure they attract and retain the Millennial and Generation Z markets, they need to focus on the audio just as much as the visuals in their campaigns,” he says.
The study, which surveyed 1,000 Australian consumers, also found that 88% of Aussies aged under 35 consider music as an integral part of their lives. The Baby Boomers who grew up in the middle of the rock explosion also consider music important to their very existence, but only 77% of them think so.
This is nothing new for brands. A study by Apple Music and Sonos found that couples that listen to music spend three more hours together at home when music is playing versus those who do not. This is a statistic about personal relationships, but relevant to brands who want to extend people’s relationships to themselves. In addition, brands have also realised that audio becomes more important for the younger generation in the world of Alexa and Siri.
Songs used in ads certainly can leave an impact. AC/DC’s ‘Thunderstruck’ is a great stand-alone track, but can you listen to it without thinking of the Ford Commode ad? Or Jet’s ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl; and Wolfmother’s‘Love Train’ without flashing to their Apple iPod ads, or The Beatles’ ‘Revolution’ with Nike or Blur’s‘Blur 2’ with Toyota Corolla. Just an indication of the power of advertising in our lives.
Add to this that the PHMG study also showed that a high rate of 18-24 year olds believe that they develop a better understanding of a company’s personality through music, and reckon that businesses appear more professional if they use custom created music rather than popular off-the-shelf music tracks. McDonalds did this with Justin Timberlake recording a campaign anthem with the Neptunes-produced ‘I’m Lovin’ It’ or Melbourne Trains with folk singer Tangerine Kitty’s‘Dumb Ways to Die’, which went on to become a Top 10 hit in six countries.