Great. Our Favorite Hits Being Studied to Make More (Targeted) Ads

Great.  We haven't heard and seen enough ads to last us a lifetime.  Now a new study has found the key themes that cut through the clutter and make us sit up and take notice -- to create more ads.

Researchers from North Carolina State University have analyzed 50 years’ worth of hit songs to identify key themes that marketing professionals can use to craft advertisements that will resonate with audiences, according to newswise.com.

“People are exposed to a barrage of advertisements and they often respond by tuning out those advertisements. We wanted to see what we could learn from hit songs to help advertisers break through all that clutter,” says Dr. David Henard, a professor of marketing at NC State and lead author of a paper describing the research at newswise.com. “We also wanted to see if there were specific themes that could help companies engage with consumers in a positive way via social media."

Researchers found that there's a" limited range of widely accepted themes that get at the heart of human experience and resonate with a large and diverse population of consumers," the Web site quotes Henard. "We’re not saying that every marketing effort should center on one or more of these themes, but the implication is that efforts incorporating these themes will be more successful than efforts that don’t.”

The researchers used computer programs to run textual analysis of the lyrics for all of those songs and analyzed the results to identify key themes, and they found 12 of them -- loss, desire, aspiration, breakup, pain, inspiration, nostalgia, rebellion, jaded, desperation, escapism and confusion. "But while these themes are common across the 50-year study period, the most prominent themes have varied over time," newswise.com notes. “Rebellion,” a prominent theme in the ’60s and ’70s, did not break the top 10 in the ’80s – and was in the middle of the pack in the ’90s and ’00s. The themes of “desperation” and “inspirational” leapt to the top of the list in the ’00s for the first time – possibly, Henard notes, due to the cultural effects of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

“These themes overwhelmingly reflect emotional content, rather than rational content,” Henard says. “It reinforces the idea that communications centered on emotional themes will have mass audience appeal. Hit songs reflect what consumers respond to, and that’s information that advertisers can use to craft messages that will capture people’s attention.”




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