By Michael Betteridge, general manager marketing, The Wotif Group

Music and marketing are good friends; they have been for a long time. How many of us still belt out a bit of “de, de, de Decore…” into a shampoo-bottle microphone in the shower? (For those of you under 30, Decore was ‘De Family Shampoo’ in the ’80s, and this ad sold a lot of shampoo.

When we were looking to attract the next generation of consumers for our iconic and beloved brand, we knew we had to reinvent ourselves to appeal to a young-at-heart demographic, and young people like music. A lot.

And it turns out music and travelling are good friends too. We surveyed almost 12,000 of our customers and 40% of them said they were inspired to travel by a song!

Music motivates us, inspires us, comforts us and even depresses us. It’s the background soundtrack to everything we do. Especially travelling. Nobody leaves for a big trip without a smartphone to play music on, and a playlist to go with it.

Music lingers, even if it’s bad (thanks, Coles!), which is why it can represent a large part of our communication (some say up to 90%, if you have a good tune). So how do we tap into this connection between music and marketing and, in our case, travelling?

  • We know almost half of all buying decisions are driven by emotion. Music can be a very emotional and personal experience – we need to decide on the emotion we are looking to evoke with our campaign and choose the music that best represents that.
  • Music can give a brand personality, making the experience of purchasing a product a more personal one – how many people were moved by the Sony Bravia Bouncing Balls ad a few years ago  featuring the Jose Gonzalez song Heartbeats? And, by showcasing San Francisco, it’s a classic example of the power of combining music, product and place in marketing;
  • The style, genre and lyrics of the music needs to fit your brand’s personality. If your brand is down-to-earth and non-fussy, a blinging Jay Z song isn’t going to work!
  • A music clip that is good enough to be shared through social media will help get people talking about your brand, becoming advocates and promoters of it, and makes it easy to measure.
  • We made our new campaign – Wotifia – into an “anthem” all about who we are, but not necessarily about our product. Instead of making consumers feel cynical and advertising-weary, we want them to understand us.
  • By the way, stock music sounds won’t inspire anyone! Be original, be irreverent, be bold.

Here’s some of my favourite examples of how music can tell a brand story:

  • Who could forget Carlton Draught’s Big Ad, a brand anthem at its best;
  • Cadbury’s Gorilla ad from a few years ago – who knew a gorilla drumming along to Phil Collins could be so cool?;
  • great example of video that went instantly viral and it doesn’t even mention the brand;
  • This moonwalking Shetland pony worked a Fleetwood Mac tune and the landscape of the Shetland Islands for 3 Mobile in the UK, racking up more than 2 million YouTube hits in less than a week.