More Than a Feeling: The Power of Music!

 
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Like visual cues, as marketers we should be aware of the importance of audio cues (in particular music) when developing rich content, especially during an era when content is king.

 
 

Music helps set tone and mood and should be carefully constructed and selected when developing a marketing communications experience (such as advertising). 

At Mind Methods, we believe in best practices with the fundamentals of marketing and simplifying how messages are delivered, as brands have minimal time to engage their audience in today’s noisy world. 

Being aware of human behaviour is important however, understanding ‘why’ humans behave the way they do is powerful. 

Today, psychology is helping to increase the awareness of how humans interact and engage with others and the world around them so it is important that we as marketers understand the changing dynamics of consumer behaviour. 

The Mind Methods team love all things music and thought it would be interesting to share the science of how and why music engages humans.

We hope you have enjoy some of our findings. 

 

Finding 1: Staying Alive

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Music stimulates the same part of the brain that keeps our species from extinction. 

The Nucleus Accumbens is the primitive part of our brain that processes reward and fundamentally motivates us to overcome obstacles in order to access food to stay alive. Theoretically, suppression of this area will lead to extinction. Interestingly music stimulates this same primitive area and the last time we checked, it was not necessary to prevent our extinction. 
 

Finding 2: Totally Addicted To Bass

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Studies show that bass heavy music gives us a sense of power!

Bass heavy music (be it beat or bass guitar) has been shown to give the listener a perceived sense of power according to a study in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science. Music generated three common consequences of power: abstract thinking, a perceived sense of control in various scenarios and the ability to make the first move in competitive situations. 
 

Finding 3: In Utero

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Humans begin processing music whilst still in the womb, all starting with the mothers heartbeat. 

Most people listen to music recreationally before watching tv or reading and this most likely has to do with a sense of rhythm being ingrained in us whilst still in the womb. When a foetus first starts to develop hearing abilities, low frequency sounds - such as a mothers heartbeat - come through loud and clear, while higher pitched sounds from the outside the womb are muffled. It is most likely that for this reason music has the ability to create a visceral response such as releasing adrenaline and altering our heart rate. 
 

Finding 4: This Is How We Do It

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Psychologically, music can play a role in altering how we interpret our world. 

One study showed that after hearing a short piece of music, participants were more likely to interpret a neutral expression as happy or sad, to match the tone of the music they heard. 
 

Finding 5: Slow And Low

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Moderate volumes and ambient style music increases creativity

Moderate noise levels have been shown to increase processing difficulty which promotes abstract processing and thus leading to higher creativity. However, in high noise levels our creative thinking is impaired because we’re overwhelmed and struggle to process information efficiently. 
 

Finding 6: Dr. Feelgood

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Music has been shown to be an elixir for fighting tiredness and fatigue

This is pretty cool and you have most probably experienced this at the gym or when you are driving late at night, but listening to music competes for our brains attention and can help us (or our brains) to override the signals of fatigue. 

 

Good Albums for Creativity & Abstract Thinking
(Mind Methods Office Tunes)

Below are five randomly selected albums that are played in the office regularly. We do our best to play tunes at a nice level wirelessly through our beloved Marshall Stanmore speaker. 

These albums are by no means our extensive list but rather a small snippet of what we play to get the creative juices flowing. We enjoy expanding our horizons and would love to hear what you listen to when you're working!   

 

Boston: More Than a Feeling

And finally how can we give this title to this post without actually paying homage to the song...I never knew Boston looked like this, I thought they were more 80s than 70s...but they're not. Enjoy!

 
 
 
 

Article by Simon TokicSimon has a few passions including basketball, music and surfing, however, most of his time is spent as a self proclaimed marketing geek applying fundamental marketing principles in strategic and creative ways. Prior to running Sydney marketing agency Mind Methods, Simon worked on leading brands including Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Glad, Chux, Armor All, Clorox, Barbeques Galore, Anglicare and more.