Toronto Metropolitan University
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Pump up the jam: how music in brand advertising can create deeper connections with consumers

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posted on 2022-10-20, 20:32 authored by Laura Andrejicka
As our visual landscape becomes saturated with advertisements and media technologies, the advertising industry is using sound in more ways than ever before to open new acoustic channels between brands and consumers. Through analysis of scholarly literature, advertising industry publications, and three recent advertising campaigns and online commentary around those campaigns, this MRP highlights the way advertisers attempt to use sound and music as a “universal language,” as a way of accessing emotion, and as a technique for engineering responses in audiences. The scholarly literature review identifies two broad approaches to research on music in advertising: the first focuses on harnessing the power of sound to enhance the impact of advertising messages whereas the second approach contextualizes and critiques the use of sound in advertising. Informed by concepts and themes in the scholarly literature, the MRP then turns to an analysis of the use of sound in three specific advertising campaigns: Oreo’ s 2013 “Wonderfilled,” Nike’s 2016 “Unlimited Together,” and Adidas’ 2017 “Original Is Never Finished.” Finally, the MRP identifies dominant perspectives of sound and music among advertising professionals through analysis of fifteen AdAge issues, a popular advertising trade journal, using a coding scheme based on the work of Powers (2010), Scott (1990), and Serazio (2013). Together, these three methods provide an in-depth understanding of the dominant perspectives of sound and music which shape the use of these modalities in the advertising industry.





  • Master of Arts


  • Professional Communication

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP

Thesis Advisor

John Shiga