17 May The Queen Effect
According to neuroscientist Dr. Jacob Jolij, Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now is the happiest song on Earth. Well, that explains why my father made us listen to it on our neverending car rides when I was a kid. But what is more important, it also explains why advertisers choose to use this song so frequently in their ads. Synetiq examined some of these commercials. Let’s see how the “Queen-effect” works for a telco, a bank and an FMCG ad.
If you wanna have a good time just give me a call…
In the holiday season of 2017 telco advertisers broke the line of emotional, touching copies and they chose a more realistic or uplifting approach to communicate their brand while celebrating everybody’s favourite holiday, Christmas. Telekom went for a montage video where ordinary people (newly weds, old grandpa, ambulance driver, plump runner, etc.) sing the well-known melody in various but regular life events – most probably around Christmas.
The dynamic spot was appreciated due to the familiar characters, kind scenes and of course the well-known rhythms. The music brought us the “feel-good” atmosphere and the scenes supported the notion of being unstoppable.
The offer delivered the reason for the choice of music: “unlimited mobile internet makes you unstoppable”. However, such a rational claim had no chance to become as emotionally (2) appreciated as the one-of-us people (1). All in all, the ad gave the viewers a good time and they rewarded it with great conscious evaluation.
I’m a shooting star, leaping through the sky…
Erste built the story on a little girl who was “flying like a tiger, defying the rules of gravity”. Although the copy was not involving due to the execution and lack of explanation, the commercial still managed to elicit positive emotions and to convince the audience.
The copy shows the little girl in a typical child role. Her playing, biking, dancing evoked positive feelings and she was able to convey the brand message and the “you can do it” attitude (1). All this was supported greatly by the music, not just by the lyrics but by the dynamics as well. Though engagement was blocked by the unrelated story parts (from biking outdoors to dancing teddies in the dark room – 2), the voice-over about the offer was able to stop the languishing interest and re-involve viewers (create family bank account and win 100.000 forints – 4). The message (if each family member believes in themselves the whole family can do better – 3) was attractive (although less than the story) and managed to be activating while it felt relevant. As the protagonist stood out from her crowd the copy also managed to do so.
It is risky to build stories on kids because adults find it more difficult to resonate with them. But it seems like that if they express a relatable feeling of achieving dreams combined with brand values (Erste supports its clients to feel motivated and believe in themselves) kids can still affect viewers’ emotions. Especially, if it is spiced up with Queen.
I wanna make a supersonic woman of you…
Jacob’s ad presents a good example why it is important to build a clear story – even in a short ad. Without this, a popular and loved music alone will not deliver the intended results.
The copy tells a story of a hard-working technician girl who decides to fulfill her dreams and open her own coffee shop. To such a situation, a song about being unstoppable could fit perfectly, couldn’t it? Well, theoretically yes. But there are so many factors that can ruin the performance of an ad and it is crucial to help the audience’s understanding, especially if you want to tell a complex story within 20 seconds, which also highlights your brand values.
Here, the spot failed to involve the audience at the beginning. Although the Queen song elicited positive feelings, it started too late. A song with such lyrics could have served as a voice-over to support understanding but it only works for native speakers. For Hungarians it was just enough to dissolve the negative emotions and put them into a pleasant mood (1), but the quick changes of scenes and the lack of explanation kept viewers confused (2).
This way the music was not able to make anything supersonic and remained a background music without any major impact.
Queen’s tunes granted pleasant feelings. It seems that this popular and positive song is a great booster for success but alone it will not be enough to make an ad stand out and make a brand wanted. Question is whether these pleasant emotions would appear with different music? If you want to know, we can test it for you. 😉
The article was written by Dora Andorkó – media analyst