Communicating with music in audiovisual advertising

Aim: To examine the Musical Fit influence on communicative properties of music in an audiovisual advertising context, using Volvo Cars’ commercials as a case.

Theory: Perspectives concerning semiotics, multimodality, brand-ing, as well as research on music in advertising and film from both psychological, commercial, and musicological points of view.

Method: A mixed methods content analysis design examining the congruence between music and the reference points product, brand, target group, and narration, i.e. Musical Fit.

Material: 25 commercials for Volvo Cars released between 2013 and 2018.

Findings: The study found high levels of Musical Fit, 58% fit to three reference points or more, and that the distribution of types of Musical Fit were relatively balanced. Products and target groups were generally presented in a masculine, mature, luxurious, serious, and simple manner. With reservation for a more complex presentation, the same is true for how the Volvo brand was presented. The music was similar, albeit more youthful and feminine. The nar-ration generally expressed seriousness, while the music was more sentimental.

Jonas Hallén
MKV, Examensarbete , vt18
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