If you’re having a bad week, turning on a particularly poignant piece of music can send you right over the edge, until you’re sobbing uncontrollably. At the same time, the right music can lift your spirits and get you energized to start your day or motivate you to run another mile when you thought you couldn’t take another step. We often take it for granted, but the right song at the right time is one of the most moving forces we’ll ever experience.
So, it’s clear that choosing the right songs for promotional videos is crucial. The music you use can either make your video incredibly effective, or completely ruin it, and it will inevitably alter the response you get from your audience. A study from the Serbian Psychological Association shows this effect. When people were shown a sad film clip with joyful music, it “significantly reduced” how sad they thought the clip was. Conversely, when they were shown a joyful film clip with sad music, it “significantly magnified” how sad they thought the clip was.
For a great example of this, check out our video that shows how using several different types of music with the same scene can create vastly different emotional responses.
This concept may seem obvious, but it’s immensely important because it means that music can either make or break your video in terms of the effect you want it to have on viewers. This, in turn, will determine whether a person will be convinced to purchase your products, pay for your services or take the kind of action you want them to take. But regardless of what reaction you’re trying to get, you have to choose the right music, and here’s how:
You might think you’ve come up with the perfect song for your video, but before you can be sure if it’s right, you have to know what the purpose of your promotional video is. Are you trying to increase sales, grow brand awareness, build trust, or are you an established brand trying to promote a new product, policy or service? Are you a small pet food producer making a heartwarming video to build trust and show your company’s values by promoting the quality and nutrition of your food? Or are you a big shoe brand with a shoe coming out and you need an intense, high-energy video to build hype for your new product? Though both these videos should elicit positive reactions, the right juxtaposition of music and visuals would be completely different.
The video about pet food would probably contain a significant number of voice-overs, and therefore you’d want music that isn’t too fast, intense or complex, as it would draw the viewer’s attention away from what’s being said and wouldn’t fit the heartwarming mood. The video for the shoe brand, on the other hand, would probably contain minimal voice-over work, if any, and more frenzied, intricate music would lend itself to the purpose of the video, which is to get people excited about the product and build hype. In any case, you need to have clearly defined goals for your promotional video before you even begin to choose your music, as the right track can enhance the effectiveness of your video and the wrong one can destroy it entirely.
Tempo refers to the total number of beats per minute (BPM) in a piece of music – in other words, how fast the song is. This is one of the most vital factors for how a song is going to make people feel. Typically, the higher the tempo, the more energetic the song will be, to the point of it being hectic and even irritating if the tempo is really high. A lower tempo, on the other hand, can create a more sombre, even depressing sort of feel, which can be equally as annoying depending on the listener. According to a Hiroshima University study, people tend to prefer music with a tempo that’s close to their heart rate. A resting adult’s heartbeat is between 60 to 100 beats per minute, so tracks that have a tempo within that range would be best.
Especially if your video contains a lot of complex information that you want your audience to understand and remember, then you wouldn’t want to use a song with a tempo that’s too high or too low, as it could distract from what you’re trying to convey to viewers. But, if you’re trying to promote an athletic clothing brand, for instance, you would probably want to show images of athletes wearing your clothing while they do their thing, and the intensity of this imagery would require music with an equally intense tempo. On the other hand, if your video is promoting a new campaign from a charity that helps the homeless, music with a lower tempo would likely work better. Imagine watching people handing out food and blankets to homeless people with frantic techno beats in the background. Doesn’t fit, does it?
While something like tempo is simple enough to understand, when you start getting into the more technical aspects of why music makes us feel a certain way, it can be quite confusing. Aspects of musical composition like key, timbre, chord changes, and time signatures can be difficult to understand, and people study music for many years to get a grip on these concepts. So, if you’re feeling like you just can’t find the right music for your video, you might want to think about hiring a composer. They can sit down with you, discuss the purpose and goals of your video, and even work directly with those producing the video to create a song or multiple pieces of music that will perfectly fit every aspect.
Your video might contain many different sequences, and you may want your audience to experience several different emotions while watching. Take the example of a video about a charity helping the homeless. In one part, you might want to inspire viewers to donate by showing heartbreaking stories of individuals living on the street. In the next scene, maybe you want them to feel joyful when they see these people being helped, and in the following sequence, you’re promoting your run to raise money for the homeless, so you want the audience to be excited to participate. It would be practically impossible to find one track to fit all these emotions and trying to transition between several different tracks can be just as complicated, so if you’re really struggling to find the right music for your video, consider hiring a professional.
Does creating your own promo video seem intimidating? If you want to trust your promotional video production to the professionals, contact The Best Media and book a consultation, or check out the range of video services we have available.