The role of musical priming in brand recall

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to analyze whether musical priming induces greater recall of brands and, second, to study the emotional priming effects of music, in comparison with non-emotional music, including gender comparison. Design/methodology/approach: Through the utilization of neuromarketing tools and protocols (quantitative and qualitative), the study explores facial eltromyography (EMG) capabilities and skin conductance responses (SCR) measuring consumers’ emotional responses. Findings: The findings show that at least, 40 percent of the total sample recognized a musical priming effect. The study measures the emotional response to musical priming as positive. Emotional video recognition was much higher in females. Both the self-report and physiological measures support the notion that emotional background music can elicit emotional responses in consumers. Research limitations/implications: The research measured emotional response to musical priming without testing how these responses influence consumers’ attention and overall behavior. Practical implications: The five senses, especially hearing, play an important role in the purchasing decision process and in the individual customer experience. People become aware of the products and brands that surround them and make their choice. In terms of digital trading activities and online sales, increasing physiological understanding of musical priming reactions may mean that, for companies, selling low-end online goods may be economically worthwhile to cooperate with platforms such as Spotify or iTunes to select individual users. Social implications: More research is needed in priming process techniques in order to better understand how primes activate knowledge in the consumer’s mind. Understanding this process will inform marketers how close a prime needs to be to a target to have an effective influence, as well as when marketers should be concerned about negative priming effects. Originality/value: At the best of our knowledge, it is the first time that music priming is analyzed in terms of self-report and physiological measures From the measurement’s perspective, the results reaffirm that physiological and self-report measures capture different levels of information. While SCR and EMG capture real-time subconscious responses, MAN scale self-report data provide information regarding how cognitive effort, in terms of intensity and valence, affects brand recall.




Levrini, G., Schaeffer, C. L., & Nique, W. (2020). The role of musical priming in brand recall. Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, 32(5), 1112–1131.

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