The Role Of Music In TV Commercials


Music can often be the leading factor in what elicits an emotional reaction from media viewers. Auditory queues play a significant role in how we interpret an advertisement, much like they do in TV shows and movies. They often set the stage for the scene, giving us an idea of how we should be feeling and what can be expected from the next few moments.

Many of the most successful commercials contain some sort of music, and its applications run the gamut from somber anthems to hilarity-invoking jingles. But if we intend to dissect the music behind the most viral advertisements, there are a number of questions we need to ask.

So, what makes a “successful commercial”?

There are many ways to measure an advertisement’s success, some more complicated than others. But one of the most telling and accessible metrics available is its popularity on social media.

High views on YouTube reflect the commercial’s viral popularity, or how many people were interested enough to spend their time watching it (and in many cases sharing it with their peers afterward). View count is a real-time measurement of a commercial’s exposure and effective reach, giving us valuable insight into the audience it has reached.

Now let’s get down to business. Below are the statistics I’ve gathered after reviewing the 50 most-viewed commercials on YouTube (from a search for the term “commercial”; note that I’m not referring to the sponsored ads that appear before other videos). I narrowed it down to only professionally produced, English language advertising for legitimate products and services.

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