Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Margaret Padgett


Music is commonly used by marketers to enhance the effectiveness of ads. Research shows that music can make ads more memorable and shape a viewer's response to the ad. This study explores the impact of three music characteristics, its likability, its familiarity and its "fit" with the ad (referred to as congruency), on consumer response to an ad. I hypothesized that all three music characteristics would positively impact responses to an ad. Additionally, I hypothesized that there would be a significant interaction between music familiarity and congruency with subjects responding the most positively to an ad when the music was both familiar and congruent. An experimental methodology, where I manipulated music familiarity and congruency, was utilized. I used a preexisting ad but changed the music associated with the ad. Songs were pretested to determine if they were familiar or unfamiliar and if they were congruent or incongruent with the ad. The final data collection was conducted by showing 127 subjects the ad with one of four songs, a familiar congruent song, a familiar incongruent song, an unfamiliar congruent song, or an unfamiliar incongruent song. Subjects then completed a questionnaire that assessed their perceptions of the likability, familiarity and congruency of the music as well as their attitude toward the ad and toward the brand, their interest in the product and their purchase intentions. Results showed that neither familiarity with the song nor the interaction between familiarity and congruence affected responses to the ad. However, the more that subjects liked the song and the higher the degree of perceived congruence between the song and the ad, the more positive their attitude toward the ad and the greater their interest in the product. Attitude toward the brand and purchase intentions were not impacted by any of the music characteristics. Implications of the results and suggestions for future research are discussed.