Attention: it’s all over in 4 seconds

Kerry Schofield
April 23, 2019

Microsoft published data in 2015 that revealed consumers today have a shrinking attention span of 12 seconds. In 2019 they estimate it is down to less than 10.  For marketers, the age when advertising had the luxury of time to define product differentiation within commercials is over. Today we have to show how a product will positively affect the consumer experientially and in as short a time as possible.

Music has the power to emotionally connect with the consumer within 280 milliseconds. That’s fast – and much faster than any visual.

© Scientific Research 2010

So it makes sense that today brands are shifting from heavy-product endorsement to emotive advertising – messages that connect fast and straight to the emotional heart of their consumers.

Music has the power to engage with an audience at a much deeper level than any other stimuli, generating a response in consumer behaviour to enable brand recognition. In fact, after smell, music is the most powerful trigger of our memories. As Aristotle said, all we need to survive is smell, music and touch.

But with over 40 million songs to choose from, how can a brand and their agencies know that the music that has been creatively chosen is going to connect in the right way with the right message?

The answer is to make time in the creative and production schedule to match brand attributes with musical elements/attributes and test if they are driving emotions and consumer brand affinity. Basically, if everything the consumer knows and understands about your brand is reflected in what they hear it is significantly more powerful at communicating a brand message that will actually resonate with the target audience. And if the impact of the visual, brand values and music are perfectly aligned, the next time a consumer hears that track the first thing they will think of is your brand.

The optimum use of music can promote effectiveness, influence consumer engagement and increase purchase propensity by up to 30%. Which I believe is the ambition of advertising.

Want to know how this can be achieved and measured before you invest in fees for music? Give me a call at soundlounge and ask for Kerry.