What is the Musical Commercial in TV and Radio Ads?

Catchy and memorable, music used in advertisements has certain characteristics. See our detailed guide below to learn more about the music in commercials and where you can find such tracks.

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Oct 26, 2022

Jan 08, 2024


What is the Musical Commercial in TV and Radio Ads?

Musical Commercial in TV

There are some commercials that we cannot forget regardless of how many years it has been since they came out. KitKat’s “Give Me a Break” ad, McDonald’s’ “I’m Lovin’ It” video, Subway’s “Five Dollar Foot Long” ad, to name a few… Even reading the titles alone can bring back many memories as their music starts playing in our head. When they first aired, these ads generated serious revenue to their respective brands while significantly improving the brand awareness. Moreover, they managed to stick with us after all this time. It is especially impressive when we consider that “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign came out in 2003, which was almost 20 years ago, and “Give Me a Break” campaign came out in 1986, in other words, almost four decades ago.

What makes these advertisements that successful and that memorable? The answer is very simple: Think of what first popped in your mind when we mentioned these ads? Their music, of course!

You must have experienced something like the following at least once in your life: You are at work or maybe at school, going on with your daily life. Out of the blue you hear a voice in your head, singing “Five… Five dollar foot long. Five… Five dollar… Five dollar foot long.” Now suddenly you are craving delicious Subway sandwiches, and you weren’t that hungry to being with! So you go out of your way to stop by a Subway on your way home, or order a foot long through the delivery app.

This is what a successful advertisement does: It gets in your head and just won’t stop playing over and over again.

Very aware of the immense potential of music, advertisers often spend countless hours and significant amounts of money on creating the perfect music to accompany their ad video. When in hands of an expert, music is an incredible tool to evoke strong emotional responses and convince audiences to make a purchase. Music seriously alters how the audience views a certain brand, product, or a service thus it has the potential to carry a business to the top.

If you are still not convinced in how important music is in advertising and branding, hear it from the experts: Scientists have proven through research that music alters our mood, emotions and perception. Moreover, several other empirical studies suggest that strategic use of music in advertisements leads to higher brand recall and positive attitudes towards the brand. 

If you want to know more about the power of music in commercials and how you can harness the monumental power of music to take your brand one step further and shine amongst your competitors, see our guide below. 

What is the musical commercial in tv and radio ads?

Almost all commercials use some form of music: Intro, background music, outro, a jingle, or some other variation. The reasons behind this strategy are obvious: Getting the audience pay attention to the advertisement, evoking emotions and being more convincing.

There are different types of music use in tv and radio commercials. Below we will explain the most popular ones.

Intro: Intro music is the track that plays when the commercial starts. It is often upbeat and aims to welcome the audience into the world of commercial. It aims to set a certain tone that will be prevalent in the rest of the commercial. 
A commercial intro can have lyrics, or it can be instrumental. In order to draw the attention of the audience, intros are often very grand and impactful.
Not only advertising agencies but also content creators use intro music as well for the same exact purposes. Streamers use intro music at the beginning of their live stream, YouTubers use free intro music for YouTube, podcasters use sound effects and so forth.

Background music: Some commercials have a music track playing in the background throughout. The reason behind using a background music is setting a mood. In accordance with the subject matter of the advertisement, background music can be somber, cheerful, understated, intense, motivating, celebratory, and much more. 
Correct use of background music makes advertisements and videos more relatable. In addition, background music makes the audience give an emotional response to the advertisement.
If you want to use the power of music to make your commercials more efficient, take a closer look at royalty free music moods. With the right track, you can create memorable content that will stick with your audience for a very long time.  

Outro: Outro music plays at the end of a commercial and it is often accompanied by a pack shot or a slogan. Most advertisers use outro music to send off their audience with a strong emotion. This way, they can elicit the response they want from the audience, such as purchasing a good or a service.
Different types of music genres can be preferred for the outro depending on the overall tone and the target audience of the commercial. For instance, a rock outro track can work well with a younger audience while a jazz or instrumental outro track can be more convincing to an older audience. 

Jingle: Jingle is the most popular commercial music. It consists of a very catchy music and memorable lyrics that explain the benefits of the service or product that is being advertised. Free beats and samples from popular songs are often used in jingles to make them more appealing. “I’m Lovin’ It” and “Give Me a Break” are very famous and successful examples of advertisement jingles. 
What sets jingles and other music used in commercials apart is the lyrics: Jingles exclusively talk about the features, distinguishing details of the product. 
Jingles can be brand new songs or covers of already existing songs. If a cover is recorded as a jingle, lyrics are almost always changed to ones that highlight the product or the service being marketed.

Why is music used in TV commercials?

Music is a very deep and profound way of communicating: It evokes strong emotions and creates valuable memories. That is why most TV commercials use music.

Combined with the right music, strong visuals can have strong effects on the audience. With a catchy jingle, you can make sure that your audience learns and remembers the distinguishing features of your product or service. With a well edited advertisement video, you can ensure that your audience has strong and positive feelings towards your brand. 

In short, music is the soul of TV commercials. It highlights the intended message, sets a mood and creates a solid brand identity. On that count, advertisers put serious effort in coming up with memorable jingles that caters to the target audience and are aligned with the brand identity, intended message of the commercial and introduces the good or service that is to be sold.

If you want to kickstart your campaign, reach thousands of people and increase your revenue through TV commercials, you should incorporate royalty free music in your advertisements. You can utilize royalty free music to create a sentimental bond with your brand and your audience. 

Using royalty free music in your TV commercials make a lot sense from marketing and budgeting perspectives: You can create impressive and professional looking commercials by incorporating royalty free tracks into your videos. Also, unlike copyrighted songs, royalty free songs don’t require making payments for each use. For copyrighted songs, you pay “royalties” per use. In other words, you have to pay the owner of the song for each view of your commercial. Royalty free songs, on the other hand, are a one-time purchase. Once you buy a royalty free song, you can use it as many times as you wish without paying for each view.

In addition, royalty free music prices are significantly lower than copyrighted song prices. 

Why do advertisers use music in commercials? Do they like the way it sounds?

Sure, music sounds amazing but that is not the only reason why advertisers use it in commercials! According to David Huron, a professor who studies psychology of music and music cognition at Ohio State University, the use of music in commercials serves six purposes:
  • Entertainment: Advertisements with entertaining music is more appealing to the audience.
  • Structure and continuity: Commercials are often very fast paced videos where different images and clips follow one another. Music binds these visuals together and creates a sense of continuity.
  • Memorability: Music, especially catchy jingles make commercials much more memorable. Since increasing brand awareness and recall is one of the main goals of commercials, it is not surprising that advertisers use music to make commercials more memorable.
  • Lyrical language: The lyrical language used in jingles is very potent: It can deliver the message to the audience without being too pedantic or didactic. 
  • Targeting: Strategic use of music allows advertisers to reach their target audience. For instance using popular and contemporary songs in a commercial can make the product more appealing to a younger generation.
  • Authority establishment: Advertisers sometimes use songs by popular and beloved artists to make their brand look more credible.

How do I find a song from a commercial?

There are many ways of finding a song you heard in a commercial. First of all, you can use music identification tools like Shazam. Second option is to find the commercial on online platforms like YouTube to see the video description. Most advertisers add the credits of the ad in video description. Another way you can try is to get in touch with the advertisers via email to ask them!

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