Study: Consumers associate higher-pitched commercials with healthier food products

By: Nanyang Technological University

A team of researchers from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) studying how the acoustic and visual composition of advertisements impact perceptions, has found that consumers associate a higher frequency “sonic logo” with healthier food products.

Sonic logos, also termed sogos, are short melodies created to support the marketing of a specific brand.

The study also linked more stimulating visuals in commercials with consumer perceptions that the food product it was advertising was healthier.

Consumers tended to associate low-pitched sonic logos and commercials with less vivid designs with unhealthy food products.

NTU neuroscientist Professor Gemma Calvert, one of the pioneers of neuromarketing, who led the study, said: “Sensory stimuli, such as sounds and colors, play a prominent role in branding. Sound is the fastest human sense, faster than smell, taste, sight, and even touch. When that is combined with the fact that music invokes emotion in people—a big driver in brand loyalty—the importance of understanding the impact of sound in branding rings crystal clear. Our study has further cemented other research that drew links between the many aspects of an advertisement, providing useful ideas to brand managers and their agencies who are seeking a sensory branding strategy for healthy food products.”