Ive Got The Music In Me: A Study Of Peak Musical Memory Age And The Implications For Future Advertising

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R. Nicholas Gerlich
Leigh Browning
Lori Westermann


Advertising, music, broadcasting, television, pop culture


Neuropsychologists have demonstrated the effect music has on the human brain, and that a peak “musical memory age” occurs around 14, when normal bodily maturation is in progress. A group of 114 college students between the ages of 19 and 25 was exposed to short clips of the top 20 songs from each of the 11 years during their youth; participants were asked to rate their liking of each song sample on a 0-10 scale. Data analysis showed that the peak musical memory age of these students was not as precise as prior research had shown, and that overall there was difference in degree of musical affinity between age groups in the sample. This deviation from prior findings may have resulted from changes in how music is available today. Whereas specifically targeted music was once standard procedure in past TV advertising, these findings produce new implications for future TV advertising.


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