Monday, April 30, 2012

A Dual Partnership: Music and Advertising

"We Are Young" by Fun was used as background music in Chevrolet's 2012 Superbowl Ad.  The All-New Chevy Sonic uses this song in it's advertisement as an attempt to connect with the individual consumer so they will buy their car.  However, Chevrolet never realized its potential impact on the song itself - since the Superbowl, the song has remained at #1 or close to it on Billboard's Hot 100, and has gained close to 3 million dollars in sales.

The impacts of the implementation of music in advertisements has lead to a dual partnership between the industries.  This is due to the fact that popular music has been, and continues to be, utilized in commercials; however, the costs of using more popular, established music and musical artists are greater than those of newer unfamiliar songs.  Therefore, a commercial that introduces a new song creates recognition of the brand when the song is heard, and increases sales for a musical artist.  Studies have discovered that feelings generated from hearing liked music in combination with a product can positively affect product choices.  Additionally, when a person hears a song in a commercial, he becomes inspired to find the song and download it instantaneously, so that both the brand and the musical artist win.

New forms of music distribution demonstrate the intersection of the economic conditions and distribution practices of both the advertising and music industries.  Music placement in advertising becomes economic as it provides a new venue for collecting revenue, and the widespread and repeated exposure of commercials provides either for revival of or new interest in the particular songs and/or artists featured.  Television commercials have become a platform for music-sales promotion, as it as another venue through which both industries can make money, while selling records and products, and getting exposure.  However, the affiliation of a song to a commercial may be considered a threat to authenticity, and to the legitimation of popular music as art.

Licensing songs to commercials has become much more accepted and widespread today because of cultural changes in society.  People are generally pirating music because people's knowledge of copyright is very limited, making it harder to make a living as a musical artist.  This has forced fans and critics to lighten their tone regarding the way advertisers and musical artists are making money.  On the other side, the use music in advertising may feed into people retaining little of the ad content they see, therefore misinterpreting much of the message.

Related Articles:
Music's New Form of Advertising
Music Placement in Advertising
Alternative Rock Music in Radio Advertising
Rock Star!

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