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Music and Biscuits - The Communications Blog - Birchills Telecom

Music and Biscuits - The Communications Blog - Birchills Telecom

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Music and Biscuits

Birchills Telecom
Published by in Sales Communication ·
Three researchers from Tel-Aviv Yaffo Academic College set out to  research the effect of background music on adverts in 2012. They found that adverts with pleasant background music were preferred to those with none. Conversely the message in the adverts with no music was better understood and retained better.

One of those researchers Naomi Ziv has gone on to carry out further work on the influence of music on taste.  That research has just been published in the European Journal of Marketing , Volume 52 (7/8): 20 – Jul 9, 2018.

Imagine you want to know whether music will influence people’s perception of the food they eat. Then perhaps you might get a group of people together, cook some biscuits, play some music and invite the group to rate the taste of two identical biscuits.

This is what Naomi did and evaluated the results using statistical techniques. She found that if you played pleasant music then, indeed the biscuits were evaluated as being more pleasant. However, the effect was not strong.

She then went on to feed one group of people two  biscuits with nice music and another group with unpleasant music. They evaluated the biscuits as equally pleasant which ever music was playing. However, the first biscuit tasted was always evaluated as being the more pleasant.

The practical result of this research is that if you are inviting consumers to test your product within a supermarket, for instance, you may wish to play pleasant music whilst they taste. If you are asking consumers to carry out a comparison test then it would make sense to present your product first accompanied by pleasant music.
There is a limit to how far this could be carried through – it would be ludicrous to play a sonata with your product followed by chalk scratching on a blackboard with your competitors and maybe, the consumer might just notice the subterfuge.

The takeaway from this study is that people can make judgements sensibly for themselves and are not easily swayed by simple marketing methods.

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