Audio Branding : How Are Commercials Like Feature Films…? – Part 1
As we all know, nothing in marketing happens by accident. Every detail of TV ad, interactive billboard or web content is carefully chosen to fit into the bigger plan of affecting/influencing the targeted consumer.
Too often however when a brief comes in for a project, music is only considered at the very last minute. We think that this is a wasted opportunity.
If you look at how they use sound in the film industry, you can see that more importance is given to sounds and the science behind it.
Dr Stuart Fischoff said in his “Evolution of Music in Film and its Psychological Impact on Audiences”:
‘Not only are dramatic effects heightened by the addition of music and, frequently, sound effects, but in many instances the faces, voices, and even the personalities of the players are experientially altered.’
What does this mean? Well in a nutshell it says that how the personality of the character is perceived in a film can be affected by the music. Officially they are known as leitmotifs – melodies which accompany a particular character through the storyline which is automatically associated to that character. Think of Darth Vader’s special music, or the Indiana Jones’ theme.
– Imperial March – Darth Vader music
‘A music score is particularly useful when it helps provide a dimension of meaning that is implicit rather than explicit in the script.’
What this means for us is that music and sound can affect the image of a brand in ways that do not have to be laid out in words. Part of the message can be written or graphic; part of it can be musical and those messages will complete each other to appeal to the viewer in different ways.
Associating music to a certain character doesn’t just appeal to emotions in such a simple way but it can also be justified psychologically as a “hidden persuader”; as a trick affecting the mind.
‘In film music it was found that an audience could be influenced into buying the character or mood state of an actor—rather than simply of a scene and its overall mood—if a theme, ballad, or motif was connected to the actor and repeated over and over, with tonal variations, no matter what the context.’
[ Part 2 to come ]