3 Ways To Reach The Next Generation Of Consumers With Music

By: Will Johnson | Ad Age | Nov 2, 2021

Music-oriented branding punches through in ways that other kinds of celebrity endorsements do not.

We’re in the musical golden years—anyone can listen to any piece of music anywhere at any time—when most Americans are listening to music on a daily basis, according to a recent Harris Poll survey. Importantly for advertisers, music’s ubiquity and musicians’ popularity offer a unique opportunity to punch through the background noise and connect with consumers.

Whether it’s by using a popular tune instead of a cloying jingle in their ads or employing a singer as a spokesperson, music-oriented branding punches through in ways that other kinds of celebrity endorsements do not. Spotify has begun to push a similar message to chief marketing officers via its “All Ears on You” campaign that promotes the benefits of this super-engaged audience.

Why? Music connects with people in ways that other mediums do not. “Music is incredibly personal and all about self-expression,” said Mike Dunn, executive vice president of Music and Entertainment at the creative marketing agency Rogers & Cowan. “Brands have an opportunity to make an emotional connection by bringing audiences closer to the music and artists they love,” Dunn said. Indeed, 85% of music-listeners agreed that the music they listen to reflects who they are.

This is especially true of younger listeners—millennials and Gen Zers—who are more likely than the middle-aged and elderly to frequently listen to music (85% versus 72%). This audience is virtually all ears, but the relative flexibility afforded by streaming—unlimited streaming choice rather than a passive radio broadcast—means that advertisers need a new approach of reaching them. They authentically connect with younger Americans by taking a three-part approach focused on their desire to discover music, partner with musicians and support music-based social initiatives.