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Music has been a part of humanity from the dawn of civilization, with its earliest forms being human voices and simple percussion instruments. It not only served as a method of communication, a way of emotional expression and social bonding, but also as a universal language that transcended geographical boundaries, cultures, and language barriers, thereby helping people connect even if they originated vast oceans away. Music continues to be used in religious rituals, for storytelling, and as a means of both individual and collective expression. It has within it the power to stir memories, create a sense of belonging, and evoke powerful emotions; as we evolve and adapt as humans, so too does our music, to reflect our experience of an ever-changing world.

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Advertising over the last 100 years has undergone a remarkable transformation and so too has the use of music. In its simplest form of radio jingles to today’s clever lyrics designed to stick in a listener’s mind and attract positive feelings towards products and services being advertised; music has truly transformed our experience of our world and with our world. Advertisers today create or leverage popular songs to connect with customers. Songs that somehow already sound so familiar that they instantly connect with the listener and begin to build pictures and associations in the customer's mind of how and why this brand is perfect for them. Music in advertising has gone beyond just attracting the listener’s attention to telling a story, conveying a message, and building a unique perception and association between a brand and its customer.

The Power of Music in Advertising 

Music has within it the power to cut through the noise and clutter that bombards customers every day. No, it’s not being overstated; music does have the power to elevate memorability, and influence and catapult a commercial, which is why so many brands invest in creating unique high-quality music for their ads. Creating a successful music score is an art as well as a science, as it requires marketers to articulate their understanding of the brand, its values, its personality, its core customers, and the message to be conveyed to the composer, before they can even begin to make magic.

Here are some iconic examples of brands harnessing the power of music to connect and engage with customers:

Deconstructing Iconic Music

We mentioned earlier that creating music is both an art and a science, and one way that brands can leverage music more effectively is by deconstructing iconic music tracks from the past; tracks that often have a strong melody, or a memorable hook, or lyrics that resonate with the listener.

Breaking down a track into its various elements - melody, harmony, rhythm, texture, form, pitch, tempo, scale, lyrics, etc. can provide insights. Understanding what made the track successful does not guarantee repeated success, but can allow brands to incorporate similar elements into their music to create something of similar power and effectiveness within their advertising.


Brands need to deconstruct not to copy or imitate, but to understand the principles and techniques used that made these tracks so powerful and effective, and then create via their respective brand voice, brand identity, and marketing goals.

Leveraging Music for Brand Differentiation

For a brand to leverage music it first needs to create a sound identity by defining a music style for itself. This requires identifying the music genre, instruments, soundscapes that align with and complement the brand (for example - classical music with rich orchestration conveys sophistication and elegance that is more suited for a Mercedes than a new age tech startup who would possibly prefer a futuristic sound style of electronic music that also reflects innovation).

Once the musical style is defined, the next step is composing the music. This involves creating a melody that is catchy and memorable, but also versatile enough to be used in different contexts. The melody should be simple enough to be recognized within a few seconds, yet distinctive enough to be associated with the brand. Rhythm and tempo play a crucial role as they should match the energy of the brand (for example a sports-related product might benefit from a fast-paced rhythm and tempo while a health and wellness center might prefer a more soothing soundtrack). Lyrics and vocals contribute to the brand identity too, as they not only engagingly convey the message but also make it relatable and emotive by adding that special human touch to it.

The next step after the music has been composed is to have it professionally produced, mixed and mastered. This ensures that there is synergy and balance in the various instruments, enhancing the sound quality and sonic textures.


Finally, the soundtrack is implemented across various brand touchpoints (for example, TVC, radio, digital films, corporate videos, website, social media, etc.). 

Best Practices for Leveraging Music in Advertising

Here are some best practices that brands and marketers should keep in mind when creating the music for their brand:

  • Understand Your Brand. What does your brand stand for? What are your brand’s values? What is your brand’s personality? What emotions does your brand evoke?

  • Know Your Audience. What is the brand’s core audience (demographic & psychographic, age, cultural background, and musical preferences etc.).

  • Create a sound that is unique to and for your brand. A sound that stands out, a sound that could be a unique arrangement or interpretation of an existing song or a sound that is created from scratch.

  • Stay consistent across platforms and touchpoints.

  • Quality matters, as poorly produced music can reflect badly on your brand.

  • Test and refine before rolling out on a large scale.

  • Stay current and keep the music up-to-date.

  • Be aware of cultural sensitivity to your music. Since music is usually deeply rooted in culture, using it across different cultures could attract negative feedback without understanding its context in relation to a different audience. 

  • Leverage silence to create contrast, highlight important moments, and add drama to your advertisements.

  • Be aware of legal considerations, licensing, usage rights, permissions, etc. that may be applicable when buying music tracks, loops, etc., and using them in advertising. Using a small portion of a song that is protected by copyrights and without permission can lead to severe legal issues. Also, changing a few lyrics to an existing song too can attract legal issues as most songs have copyrights to the music score as well as the lyrics. Music in the public domain is not always free to use without doing a check. Most often the original track was made free for public use, but remixes of the same may have new copyrights applicable. 

Brands that have successfully incorporated music in a culturally sensitive and inclusive manner

The Role of AI in Creating Music

Technology has revolutionized various industries over the last few years. Today AI (Artificial Intelligence) too has brought further innovation & integration with its ability to analyze vast amounts of data including audiences, moods, contexts, etc, learn from it, and not only provide many potential routes to follow but also partly execute those suggestions if needed. AI in music can analyze trends and listener data, identify patterns, suggest music strategies for brands, assist in the composition process, and generate melodies, harmonies, and rhythms but also mix, produce, enhance, balance and effects to deliver high-quality, professionally designed music.


Whatever the human mind can imagine, AI can and in time, will be able to create. It is important to state here that AI is not a replacement for creativity, touch, bonds and the emotional impact that humans bring to and take from music; but rather AI is tool to aid humans in creating music that resonates, motivates, and inspires. It is a tool that should be used to bring new and exciting opportunities for brands to connect with their customers.


Music transcends boundaries and cultures because it is a universal language. It is ingrained and an integral part of history and culture. Through the power of music, marketers can create connections, evoke emotions, and stir memories in the minds and hearts of their customers. Music acts like a force that binds, promotes unity, and creates shared experiences. It has the power to reduce anxiety and pain, improve mood, uplift your spirit, and make you feel good. Music has been used as a symbol of resistance, a form of protest, a call to come together and even as an anthem of victory. People have used it to convey who they are and what they believe in. Music in advertising helps brands connect with their customers on an emotional level - changing perceptions and influencing behaviors that result in building better relationships and driving business growth. 


“Music can change the world because it can change people.” - Bono

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~ Trigger Worldwide

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