Snap! Crackle! Pop! You’ll Remember It


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I’m going to start off this post by conducting a short quiz.  I’m going to give you a part of a popular ad, and I want you to see if you can fill in the blanks.

1.) 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on ____ _________.

2.) So easy a _________ could do it.

3.) Help!  I’ve ________ and I can’t ______ up!

I would be willing to bet a large amount of money that the majority of readers could complete these statements in 30 seconds or less.  The entire point of advertising is to attract consumers to the product being sold, and what better way to get consumers to remember your product than to leave a lasting impression that they can’t forget?  With all of the items being advertised on TV today, it takes a lot for an ad to really stand out and catch a consumers attention, and researcher Andy Rogers thinks he has found the key.

Rogers’ study involved 48 participants that were exposed to 3 different commercials, each with three different levels of audio, visual alignment (Andrew).  The first level was the original piece, where the music is perfectly in sync with the visual affects. In this video interview, Rogers explains that “sync points” are the moments when the audio and visual elements align perfectly.  The second level displaces the music so that it is slightly ahead, and the third level pulls the music even further away from the picture on the screen.

The clips were randomly allocated to the participants and after each clip was viewed, a memory test was distributed.  Rogers found that the first clip provided no statistically significant results, whereas the second and third tests produced significant (p< .05) results.  These results led to the conclusion that speeding up the music in an advertisement will lead to more consumer recognition (Andrew).

I think this is a very interesting concept.  I’ve heard of the dynamic attending concept, but this is a completely new way to approach advertising.  However, I found a few things that were questionable about the study.  First of all there is always the possibility of chance.  Secondly, because of the observational nature of this study, nothing can be proven.  We also cannot assume that correlation is equal to causation.  However, reverse causation is ruled out because there is no way that someones mind could cause the advertisement to change.

One of my biggest problems with the study is the sample size.  48 participants aren’t enough to make a conclusion for the entire world.  This also happened in another country, so, there is a possibility that it could be different depending on different cultures.  There is also a problem with confounding variables.  They didn’t take a cognition test before they began allocating the videos, so some participants may have been superior to others when it came to memory.

In conclusion, I believe the concept of this study is intriguing, and could have some effects on future advertisements, but it’s just not a strong enough study for me to completely trust it yet.

Works Cited:

“Mis-synced Music Proves to Be a Powerful Enhancement for TV Ads.” Mis-synced Music Proves to Be a Powerful Enhancement for TV Ads. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2014. <>. Emotional Impact of Musical/Visual Synchrony Variation in Film (n.d.): n. pag. Web.

9 thoughts on “Snap! Crackle! Pop! You’ll Remember It

  1. Katelyn May Schreckengast Post author

    I agree. It’s sad that scientist and journalists publish these findings and the public views them as set in stone facts. There are always other variables to be taken into account!

  2. Michael I Barrett

    After reading this I was thinking about all the slogans and jingles I know from commercials and I know way too much. I’ve barely watched TV in the past 2 months because I just haven’t had the time and the jingles are still so memorable. After thinking about how scary it is that we’re all being brainwashed by the marketing teams of these companies, I’m wondering what they do to make a catchy song. The lyrics have to matter just as much as the music. Also, you analyzed the experiment very well… good job.

  3. Leona Kogan

    This is very interesting to me. As an avid TV watcher, I think I remember the commercials that are funny or have catchy jingles. Maybe, it wasn’t that the music was displaced that made people remember the commercial. Maybe, it was the fact that the commercial just seemed different with music that didn’t align with the song. However, I do agree that this study is not sufficient enough to make a conclusion for the entire world.

  4. ayd5332

    This was a great blog. It was awesome how you left the short blanks at the beginning to see if the reader could fill them in. This was very well written and definitely made me think about what a huge effect advertising has on us. Perhaps if difficult course material or work from a textbook was taught to us in this form, some of us may score better on exams?

  5. Aleksandra Eva Kolliopoulos

    As a future marketing major, this post really shows important information about how the customers will react to product advertisements. Despite the small test group, and the lack of recognizing third confounding variables (such as prior cognition testing), there could be some sort of correlation between up-paced music and catching the buyers’ attentions. A larger, more precise, study would have to be done, but here are some other things that catch customers’ attentions during advertisements.

  6. Hannah Elizabeth Boothman

    I think this is a very well written blog. I like how at the end you included your personal thoughts on the study and how it might not have been the best thought out. You said how the study size was not big enough to count for the entire nation or the entire world. I like how you stated that you do not trust the study because we tend to forget that just because we assume that a study done by scientists will be well thought out.
    Here is an article I read on why companies make jingles and why some commmerical ads can get stuck in our heads.

  7. Caitlin Marie Gailey

    I loved the way you began your post! I agree that this topic is extremely interesting. It’s subtle things like this that I never noticed in advertising before but maybe I will now have to look out for. I also agree with the fact that the study was way too small to properly deduce causation in this case. I think it’s a fairly easy study so it could easily be reproduced in order to have clearer results. I also think it is important to note that some participants may be better at remembering commercials and jingles and others, but if the study was large enough I think the variation in this would even out. However in a small study it could make a large difference. I liked the uniqueness of your topic and would definitely be interested if you find anything more.

    Here is a link to a study very similar to this that was conducted several years ago.

  8. Casey Jordan Leuenberger

    I like how you began your post! That was really clever. I researched this a little and found that advertisers try to get into your subconscious levels in tv commercials. You can find more information here

  9. Max Cohen

    As an avid television viewer, I know many theme songs to different commercials and ads. It’s interesting to see how many different ads a person can remember without even trying. We study our notes for hours and can’t remember a thing, but after hearing a theme song or jingle over and over we learn to memorize it without even trying. It’s cool how much information can be obtained ands remembered through listening.

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