Daniel Müllensiefen

Workshop at Academy Day May 27th, 2015

Music, Brands and Advertising: Testing what works

Lecturer: Dr. Daniel Müllensiefen, Goldsmiths, University of London and adam&eveDDB



This workshop addresses three crucial questions that are highly relevant for the effective use of music in advertising.

1) How does music work in advertising? We will show how music – when used intelligently – can massively drive the effectiveness of advertising. We will contextualise and explain the effects of music in terms of the perceptual, cognitive and emotional mechanisms and provide the necessary framework in terms of current psychological theories and models.

2) How to assess a brand profile and match it to music? We will demonstrate a qualitative technique for assessing a profile of brand values and matching it against features of music tracks with the goal to enhance the positive brand values. As a quantitative extension of this technique we will show how a specialised semantic differential can be used to quantify exactly the distance between candidate music tracks and a brand profile. This quantitative method can then be used to guide creative decisions regarding the music choice for a brand or a specific campaign. The method will be introduced with a hands-on demo involving all workshop participants.

3) How to test whether the music is actually effective? We will give a quick overview of some of the most relevant behavioural, physiological and neuroscientific techniques for (pre-)testing the effects of music in advertising. We will discuss the strengths and the pitfalls of each technique and explain their potential use cases. This will include a live hands-on demo of a skin conductance and heart rate measurement device.

The workshop will close with a discussion on the value of quantitative testing in advertising. The discussion will start from the participants’ knowledge, expertise and attitude with regards to testing and we will demonstrate the use of the Q-sort procedure, a simple quantitative technique, to assess a spectrum of opinions and attitudes.

Dr. Daniel Müllensiefen

Daniel Müllensiefen studied Systematic Musicology, Historic Musicology and Journalism at the universities of Hamburg (Germany) and Salamanca (Spain). He did his doctoral dissertation in Systematic Musicology on memory for melodies at the University of Hamburg and obtained his PhD in 2004. From 2006 until 2009 he worked as a Research Fellow in the Computing department at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Since 2009 he is a lecturer in the Psychology department at Goldsmiths and co-director of the Master’s course in Music Mind and Brain at Goldsmiths. In 2010 he was also appointed as Scientist in Residence with the London-based advertising agency DDB UK where he acts as a consultant and researcher, mainly on questions regarding the role of music in advertising and other commercial settings.