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Attitude toward the advertising music: an overlooked potential pitfall in commercials

Lincoln G. Craton (Stonehill College, North Easton, Massachusetts, USA)
Geoffrey P. Lantos (Stonehill College, North Easton, Massachusetts, USA)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 13 September 2011




The purpose of this paper is to identify the causes and implications of potential negative consumer response to music in broadcast commercials. It aims to accomplish this by introducing a new consumer response variable, attitude toward the advertising music (Aam) and relating Aam's components to advertising goals. It also aims to propose that Aam is a significant component of attitude toward the ad (Aad).


The paper takes the form of an integrative review of the relevant literatures in the psychology of music, consumer marketing, and advertising to formulate Aam.


Favorable Aam is a necessary but insufficient condition for favorable Aad in ads employing music. Furthermore, a negative Aam might cause a negative Aad. Given the numerous possible negative responses to music in a TV or radio commercial, achieving a favorable Aam among most target audience members is very challenging, especially when music‐message fit is lacking.

Practical implications

The paper offers cautionary advice for advertisers using music and directions for future research.


The paper provides a novel integration of literatures in psychology and marketing/advertising. Whereas most scholars and practitioners assume that music adds value to commercials, the authors demonstrate key ways in which music can cause adverse listener reactions.



Craton, L.G. and Lantos, G.P. (2011), "Attitude toward the advertising music: an overlooked potential pitfall in commercials", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 28 No. 6, pp. 396-411.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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