AI – tone deaf or not?

We have often heard that music is the language of the soul. There is no debating that music moves people in more ways than one. Neuroscientists believe that music activates, transforms, and even works therapeutically on brain activity. Music has a strong role to play in keeping the human brains and hearts engaged.

The use of music in advertising is well-known and well documented. Globally, 84 per cent of ads use music and the Kantar LINK database indicates that in Australia that number is about 81 per cent. About a half of these Aussie ads employ prominent music. On YouTube and TikTok, music works its magic with improving attention, driving significant uplifts in both, purchase intent and brand favourability.

With the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI), we observe a surge in experimentation with sound and music – composing melodies, recreating voices of the past (prosaic and poetic) – with the aim to be distinctive and entertain.

So, for this latest deep dive into analysing creative effectiveness through Kantar’s LinkAI database, I decided to see if LinkAI could pick up the mood, melody, tone and timbre of music to measure the impact it has on advertising. We ran 50 ads – with and without music – through the machine to understand two things:

1. Does the machine pick up music?
2. Do the creatives tested by the machine mirror consumer reactions to music?

The results indicate that AI is not tone deaf!

This was first published in on 1 May, 2024