Celebrities and Music and Brand Recall Cues - An Experimental Study of TV Commercials

Main Article Content

Tomas Müllern
Andreea Irinca
Anne Morawietz
Milda Pajarskaite


This article reports on an aided brand recall experiment testing the effect of celebrities compared to popular music in TV advertisements. The effect of three cues, celebrity, music, and celebrity + music, was analysed and crosschecked with the moderating effect of familiarity with the cues. The results show a stronger effect of the celebrity cue compared to music. Familiarity with the celebrity leads to higher recall than non-familiarity, whereas the results for familiarity with the music are inconsistent with stronger recall for non-familiar music for some of the cues. The results enrichen the understanding of how celebrities and music can be used as advertising cues.

Article Details

How to Cite
Müllern, T., Irinca, A., Morawietz, A., & Pajarskaite, M. (2015). Celebrities and Music and Brand Recall Cues - An Experimental Study of TV Commercials. Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, 2(10). https://doi.org/10.14738/assrj.210.1531


1. Allan, David. 2006. “Effects of Popular Music in Advertising on Attention and Memory.” Journal of Advertising Research 46 (4): 434-444.

2. Dhotre, Meenal P., and Bhola, Sarang Shankar. 2010. “Analytical Study of Association between Celebrity Advertising and Brand Recall.” The IUP Journal of Brand Management 7 (1 & 2): 25-50.

3. Mikhailitchenko, Andrey, Rajshekhar G. Javalgi, Galina Mikhailitchenko, and Michel Laroche. 2009. “Cross-cultural Advertising Communication: Visual Imagery, Brand Familiarity, and Brand Recall.” Journal of Business Research 62: 931-938.

4. Erdogan, B. Zafer, and Tanya Drollinger. 2010. “Endorsement Practice: How Agencies Select Spokespeople.” Journal of Advertising Research 48 (4): 573.

5. Langner, Tobias, and Martin Eisend. 2011. “Effects of Celebrity Endorsers’ Attractiveness and Expertise on Brand Recall of Transformational and Informational Products.” in Advances in Advertising Research 2, Shintaro Okazaki, eds., Wiesbaden: Gabler Verlag | Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, 451-460.

6. Bruner, Gordon C., II. 1990. “Music, Mood, and Marketing.” Journal of Marketing 54 (4): 94-104.

7. Alpert, Judy I., and Mark I. Alpert. 1990. “Music Influences on Mood and Purchase Intentions.” Psychology & Marketing 7 (2): 109-133.

8. Huron, David. 1989. “Music in Advertising: An Analytic Paradigm.” Musical Quarterly 73 (4): 557-574.

9. Apaolaza-Ibanez, Vanessa, Mark Zander, and Patrick Hartmann. 2010. “Memory, Emotions and Rock 'n' roll: The Influence of Music in Advertising, on Brand and Endorser Perception.” African Journal of Business Management 4 (17): 3805-3816.

10. Singh, Surendra N., and Michael L. Rothschild. 1983. “Recognition as a Measure of Learning from Television Commercials.” Journal of Marketing Research 20 (August): 235-248.

11. Singh, Surendra N., Michael L. Rothschild, and Gilbert A. Churchill. 1988. “Recognition versus Recall as Measures of Television Commercial Forgetting.” Journal of Marketing Research 25 (February): 72-80.

12. Mehta, Abhilasha, and Scott C. Purvis. 2006. “Reconsidering Recall and Emotion in Advertising.” Journal of Advertising Research 46 (1): 49-56.

13. Bagozzi, Richard P., and Alvin J. Silk. 1983. “Recall, Recognition, and the Measurement of Memory for Print Advertisements.” Marketing Science 2 (2): 95-134.

14. Bettman, James R. 1979. An Information Processing Theory of Consumer Choice. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley Publishing Company.

15. Hansen, Flemming. 1998. “Advertising Research: Testing Communication Effects,” In The Esomar Handbook of Market and Opinion Research, edited by Colin McDonald and Phyllis Vangelder, Amsterdam: ESOMAR, 653-724.

16. Grover, Rajiv, and Marco Vriens. 2006. The Handbook of Marketing Research: Uses, Misuses, and Future Advances. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.

17. Craik, Fergus I., and Joan M. McDowd. 1987. “Age Differences in Recall and Recognition.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 13 (3): 474-479.

18. Arrazola, María, José de Hevia, Pedro Reinares, and Ricardo R. Lara. 2013. “Do new Forms of Television Advertising Occasion Better Recall than Traditional Advertising Spots?“ International Journal of Advertising 32 (2): 281-300.

19. Zinkhan, George M., William B. Locander, and James H. Leigh. 1986. “Dimensional Relationships of Aided Recall and Recognition.” Journal of Advertising, 15 (1): 38-46.

20. Stewart, David W., and Girish N. Punj. 1998. “Effects of Using a Nonverbal (Musical) Cue on Recall and Playback of Television Advertising: Implications for Advertising Tracking.” Journal of Business Research 42: 39–51.

21. Lucas, Darrell B. 1960. “The ABC's of ARF's PARM.” Journal of Marketing 25 (1): 9-20.

22. Misra, Shekhar, and Sharon E. Beatty. 1990. “Celebrity Spokesperson and Brand Congruence: An Assessment of Recall and Affect.” Journal of Business Research 21: 159-173.

23. McCracken, Grant. 1989. “Who is the Celebrity Endorser? Cultural Foundations of the Endorsement Process.” The Journal of Consumer Research 16 (3): 310-321.

24. Erdogan, B. Zafer. 1999. “Celebrity Endorsement: A Literature Review.” Journal of Marketing Management 15 (4): 291-314.

25. Taylor, Shelley E., and Jennifer Crocker. 1981. “Schematic Bases of Social Information Processing.” In Social Cognition: The Ontario Symposium, 1: 89-134.

26. Kamins, Michael A., Meribeth J. Brand, Stuart A. Hoeke, and John C. Moe. 1989. “Two-Sided Versus One-Sided Celebrity Endorsements: The Impact on Advertising Effectiveness and Credibility.” Journal of Advertising 18 (2): 4-10.

27. Miciak, Alan R., and William L. Shanklin. 1994. “Choosing Celebrity Endorsers.” Marketing Management 3 (3): 50-59.

28. Menon, Mohan K., Louis E. Boone, and Hudson P. Rogers. 2001. “Celebrity Advertising: An Assessment of its Relative Effectiveness.” Proceedings of the Society for Marketing Advances Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, November, 6-11, 2001.

29. Stafford, Marla R., Thomas F. Stafford, and Ellen Day. 2002. “A Contingency Approach: The Effects of Spokesperson Type and Service Type on Service Advertising Perceptions.” Journal of Advertising 31 (2): 17-24.

30. Petty, Richard E., John T. Cacioppo, and David Schumann. 1983. “Central and Peripheral Routes to Advertising Effectiveness: The Moderating Role of Involvement.” Journal of Consumer Research 10: 135-146.

31. Friedman, Hershey, and Linda Friedman. 1979. “Endorser Effectiveness by Product Type.” Journal of Advertising Research 19 (5): 63-71.

32. Spry, Amanda, Ravi Pappu, and Bettina T. Cornwell. 2011. “Celebrity Endorsement, Brand Credibility and Brand Equity.” European Journal of Marketing 45 (6): 882-909.

33. Fleck, Nathalie, Michael Korchia, and Isabelle Le Roy. 2012. “Celebrities in Advertising: Looking for Congruence or Likability?” Psychology & Marketing 29 (9): 651-662.

34. Mowen, John C., and Stephen W. Brown. 1981. “On Explaining and Predicting the Effectiveness of Celebrity Endorsers.” Advances in Consumer Research 8: 437-441.

35. Evans, Robin B. 1988. Production and Creativity in Advertising, London: Pitman Publishing.

36. Cooper, Michael. 1984. “Can Celebrities Really Sell Products?” Marketing and Media Decisions 19: 64-65.

37. Allan, David. 2008. “A Content Analysis of Music Placement in Prime-Time Television Advertising.” Journal of Advertising Research 48 (3): 404-417.

38. Stewart, David W., Kenneth M. Farmer, and Charles I. Stannard. 1990. “Music as a Recognition Cue in Advertising-Tracking Studies.” Journal of Advertising Research 30 (4): 39-48.

39. Kellaris, James J., Anthony D. Cox, and Dena Cox. 1993. “The Effects of Background Music on Ad Processing: A Contingency Explanation.” Journal of Marketing 57 (4): 114-125.

40. Lalwani, Ashok K., May O. Lwine, and Pee Beng Ling. 2009. “Does Audiovisual Congruency in Advertisements Increase Persuasion? The Role of Cultural Music and Products.” Journal of Global Marketing 22: 139–153.

41. North, Adrian C., Liam C. Mackenzie, Ruth M. Law and David J. Hargreaves. 2004. “The Effects of Musical and Voice “Fit” on Responses to Advertisements.” Journal of Applied Social Psychology 34 (8): 1675-1708.

42. Macinnis, Deborah J., and Whan C. Park. 1991. “The Differential Role of Characteristics of Music on High- and Low-Involvement Consumers' Processing of Ads.” Journal of Consumer Research 18: 161-173.

43. Tom, Gail. 1990. “Marketing with Music.” The Journal of Consumer Marketing 7 (2): 49-53.

44. Holbrook, Morris B. 1981. “Integrating Compositional and Decompositional Analyses to Represent the Intervening Role of Perceptions in Evaluative Judgments.” Journal of Marketing Research 18 (1): 13-28.

45. Park, Whan C., and Parker V. Lessig. 1981. “Familiarity and Its Impact on Consumer Decision Biases and Heuristics.” Journal of Consumer Research 8 (2): 223-231.

46. Hahn, Minhi, and Insuk Hwang. 1999. “Effects of Tempo and Familiarity of Background Music on Message Processing in TV Advertising: A Resource Matching Perspective.” Psychology and Marketing 16 (8): 659-675.

47. Stout, Patricia A., and John D. Leckenby. 1988. “Let the Music play: Music as a Nonverbal Element in Television Commercials.” in Nonverbal Communication in Advertising, edited by Sidney Hecker and David W. Stewart, Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 207-233.

48. Gorn, Gerald J., Marvin E. Goldberg, Amitava Chattopadhyay, and David Litvack. 1991. “Music and Information in Commercials: Their Effects with an Elderly Sample.” Journal of Advertising Research 31 (5): 23-32.

49. Haley, Russell I., Jack Richardson, and Beth M. Baldwin. 1984. “The Effects of Nonverbal Communications in Television Advertising.” Journal of Advertising Research 24 (4): 11–18.

50. Park, Whan C., and Mark S. Young. 1986. “Consumer Response to Television Commercials: The Impact of Involvement and Background Music on Brand Attitude Formation.” Journal of Marketing Research XXIII: 11-24.

51. Sewall, Murphy A., and Dan Sarel. 1986. “Characteristics of Radio Commercials and Their Recall Effectiveness.” Journal of Marketing 50 (1): 52-60.

52. Wallace, Wanda T. 1994. “Memory for Music: Effect of Melody on Recall of Text.” Journal of Experimental Psychology 20 (6): 1471-1485.

53. Brooker, George W., and John J. Wheatley. 1994. “Music and Radio Advertising: Effects of Tempo and Placement.” Advances in Consumer Research 21: 286-290.

54. Oakes, Steve, and Adrian C. North. 2006. “The Impact of Background Musical Tempo and Timbre Congruity upon Ad Content Recall and Affective Response.” Applied Cognitive Psychology 20 (4): 505-520.

55. Cunningham, William H., Thomas W. Anderson, Jr., and John H. Murphy. 1974. “Are Students Real People.” The Journal of Business 47 (3): 399-409.

56. Hunter, Erik. 2009. “Celebrity Entrepreneurship and Celebrity Endorsement.” PhD diss., Jönköping International Business School.

57. Colavita, Francis. 1974. “Human Sensory Dominance.” Perceptual Psychophysiology 16: 409-412.

58. Busse, Laura, Kenneth C. Roberts, Roy E. Crist, Daniel H. Weissman, and Marty G. Woldorff. 2005. “The Spread of Attention across Modalities and Space in a Multisensory Object.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. USA 102, 18751-18756.

59. Spence, Charles. 2009. “Explaining the Colavita Visual Dominance Effect.” Progress in Brain Research 176: 245–258.

60. Molholm, Sophie, Walter Ritter, Daniel C. Javitt, and John J. Foxe. 2004. “Multisensory Visual-Auditory Object Recognition in Humans: A High-Density Electrical Mapping Study.” Cerebral Cortex 14: 452–465.

61. Johnson, Jennifer A., Robert J. Zatorre. 2005. “Attention to Simultaneous Unrelated Auditory and Visual Events: Behavioral and Neural Correlates.” Cerebral Cortex 15: 1609–1620.

62. Cohen, Michael A., Todd S. Horowitz, and Jeremy M. Wolfe. 2009. “Auditory Recognition Memory is Inferior to Visual Recognition Memory.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. USA 106, 6008–6010.

63. Bruce, Vicki, and Andy Young. (1986). “Understanding Face Recognition.” British Journal of Psychology 77: 305-327.

64. Edell, Julie A. 1988. "Nonverbal Effects in Ads: A Review and Synthesis." in Nonverbal Communication in Advertising, edited by Sidney Hecker and David W. Stewart, New York: Lexington Books, 11-27.

65. Edell, Julie A., and Kevin Lane Keller. 1989. “The Information Processing of Coordinated Media Campaigns.” Journal of Marketing Research 26 (2): 149-163.

66. Olsen, G. Douglas. 1994. "Observations: The Sounds of Silence: Functions and Use of Silence in Television Advertising." Journal of Advertising Research 34 (5): 89-95.