Summary study is that musical stimuli differ not


The paper essentially discusses Gerald Gorn’s
(1982) paper “The effects of music in advertising on choice behaviour: A classical
conditioning approach.” and its ramifications in product choice.

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It talks about the evidence for an idea that
cross-modal conditioning (here a musical stimulus influencing responses to a
visual stimulus) will change consumer behaviour through exposure, and consumers
are largely unaware of this effect. Its critics doubted that the effects seem
to be unusually strong because of the unconventional conditioning procedure
used. A new exploration to check this was conducted in a setting where cross participant
contamination could not happen and where participants with deviant tastes were removed
but it did not provide concrete results to the effectiveness of single exposure
musical conditioning.

Gorn’s result helped Shimp, Hyatt, and Snyder
(1991) to do an entire paper. They argued that the probability of participants’
choices to be biased because of demand is a function of 3 factors: the likelihood
of them to:

1. Encode the demand cue (here, the relationship
of music and pen)

2. Discern the hypothesis

3. Acting on the hypothesis (by choosing the pen)

One more criticism of Gorn’s study is that musical
stimuli differ not just in induced affects but also in musical genre, tonality,
familiarity, rhythm etc. The paper then talks of a series of 3 experiments

Experiment 1 yielded the result
that there is a significant effect of music on consumer choice.  A single exposure musical conditioning was
proved to be empirically correct.

Experiment 2 yielded the result
that self-reported attitudes of products were not affected by music played
which suggests that music might have a more persuasive effect than Gorn had

Experiment 3 was different from
the earlier two experiments since it used a two-factor (liked vs disliked
music) design as well as product related evaluations. When compared to
experiments 1, 2, 57% of participants reported about the awareness of the
influence that music had on their attitude formation.

Overall, weak behavioural effects of music for
low-involvement products are relevant because music can be then be adapted to
individual tastes of users and optimized for online impact for at least
behavioural responses like online buying if not for affective responses like
developing appositive outlook towards a product. This is important from a marketing
managerial perspective since it can firmly establish at least some influence of
music in influencing buying behaviour among exposed audiences.

Managerial Application

“In our world of
marketing and advertising — especially in today’s highly visual world
where Pinterest, Instagram and other image-based platforms are becoming
more popular with each passing day — the need is paramount for the right
music to be married to the right brand.” – Steve Olenski from Forbes Magazine.
Music in advertisements helps increase the ad recall as well as the brand
recall. We tried to apply the classroom teaching to the case at hand and could list
the following pointers:

ü  Music could create an identity that is important
for engagement

ü  The 3S phenomenon of Sticking, Stopping and
Striking Power remain relevant in today’s age of bumper ads

ü  Crisp use of music makes it easy for the brand to
reach its audience

ü  Music helps brand stand out in a cluttered world
as it is universal and can be enjoyed without the limitations of a language

ü  The future appears bright with multiple types of
Voice and Digital Assistants using the power of sound, lyrics and music to
strengthen the hold of a particular brand