Whether you’re into rock, country, classical or pop, music has the ability to stir the soul. Deeply evocative, it only takes a few notes of the right song to be strongly reminded of a particular experience or time in your life.
Marketers are well aware of the impact that music has on both a conscious and subconscious level. That’s why the music you hear on TV and other media types is carefully selected to produce the desired response. The influence of music is so profound that making the wrong choice could spell commercial disaster.
Scientific research supports the effect of music on the brain, but there’s no single formula to determine which harmony to select. So, how is it chosen for games, movies and entertainment?
Fitting the Narrative
Music can convey emotion and tone; if you’re sceptical, just look at the soundtrack from Jaws. You don’t need to have seen the film to instinctively know that something very bad is about to happen.
The horror genre relies heavily on music to create mood and tension. It also uses silence well, alternating between a complete absence of sound and eerie music.
But it’s not just horror that uses music to its full effect. The infamous pottery scene in Ghost wouldn’t have been anywhere near as poignant without the sentimental tones of the Righteous Brothers playing in the background.
The same principle holds true for gaming. Game developers, especially in the casino genre, recognise how integral background interludes and familiar soundtracks are to the entire player experience, which ultimately impacts on the success of the game.
Music can help get you in the right mood; live casino games like Crazy Time are great examples of this in practice. A high tempo creates excitement and a sense of urgency – even if you’re just playing while relaxing at home!
Music can even persuade you to buy certain products. Studies showed that playing music from a specific country made shoppers buy more items from that region, such as food or wine.
Although music is an effective marketing tool, it also helps create brand loyalty by establishing positive associations.
We know from studies that when you have a pleasurable experience, the music you hear becomes inextricably linked to that emotion. It works in the same way for negative emotions; most people have a song that instantly reminds them of a breakup! However, that’s less useful for the purposes of forging a strong connection with a game or brand.
Casinos are an excellent example. When you’re playing online games, you’ll probably be feeling hopeful, excited and you’ll be having fun. The music that’s played in the background becomes part of the experience. It works to heighten your emotions in the moment and “locks them in” for future recall.
This means that the next time you return to the game, just hearing the same music allows you to tap into all those positive feelings from last time, amplifying your emotions. The more often you play, the more strongly the link will develop between how you feel and the music.
Brands use the same approach for TV adverts; they choose music that will appeal strongly to their demographic. And it works. Music conveys a message which is far greater than spoken words, and can influence shoppers to buy a certain product far more effectively.
Put simply, music matters.