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Using Music and Sounds to Influence Behaviour

When businesses use music and sounds in their promotions one of their objectives is to influence the listener’s behaviour. For example shops selling night club wear will play dance music, patriotic music is often played during election rallies, and calm music will be played to people waiting in a queue.

Instead of creating a unique sound, some organisations will use popular (pop) music and songs to market their brand. In the UK for example:

DFS sofa adverts
Katie Melua, Closest thing to crazy 2004 and
Mariah Carey All I want for Christmas

Tampax 1990
Dr Alban, It’s my life used as background music

Cadbury ( Airport runway race) 2008
Queen , Don’t stop me now

Cancer Research UK 2002
Eva Cassidy, Cover to field’s of gold

Carlsberg (Holiday) 2000
Spiller, Groovejet

Fairy Non Bio 2002
David Essex, Hold me close.

Each song is chosen carefully to relay the message behind the brand’s advert. If the branding is successful consumers will associate the music with the brand when they hear it being played outside the organisation’s promotions. If the branding is very successful the song/music’s association with the brand, will continue years and even decades after the organisation has stopped using the music and/or song.

Using Music and Sounds to Provide Information

When businesses use music and sounds one of their objectives is to provide information to their customers and the public. Organisations will use pre recorded messages on their telephone lines to distribute information about their product. Pre recorded messages may have the brand’s music or sound. An example of this is T mobile (pre EE merger) using the same music (for telephone callers to listen to) as they did for TV and radio adverts. This helped to reinforce the brand by remindig the caller about the TV and radio adverts.

Some organisations use automated telephone calls to market their product. This is where an organisation will use IT systems to ring households and play a recorded message about their product or service to the person answering the phone. At the end of the recorded message the householder is given the option to provide feedback about the organisation’s products and services with a representative from the organisation.


- Sound marketing offers an alternative to visual marketing.
- Sound marketing can take many forms including noise, music, songs and spoken words.
- Sound marketing can be used to achieve similar objectives/additional objectives as visual marketing.
- Sound marketing increases promotional mediums as it includes radio, internet and telephone.



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