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My Personal Opinion Of Sound In Advertising

Sound is most commonly used when advertising over radio (obviously) or some sort of music streaming service. This makes absolute sense, as those types of media are entirely reliant on sound. I am writing this post today to discuss my opinions on the use of sound in some of its forms.
Sound is clearly a very broadly defined word. I can be talking about music, voices or even - if you ascribe to the same philosophy as Simon and Garfunkel - the complete absence of sound; silence.
I actually want to start with silence. Silence can be extremely impactful, drawing your attention to the visuals in order to compensate for the lack of noise. When done correctly, this can ad a true sense of gravity to a moment. In the context of advertising, silence can be an excellent tool when seeking to grab attention. People have a tendency to lose attention during commercial breaks on television, and so a very sudden shift, from music and voices to utter silence, can have quite an affect, causing the viewer to investigate the change.
In terms of advertising, of course, there is a reason that silence is used sparingly. If overused, it will quickly lose the desired effect, and it also limits possibilities in general. Sound, as mentioned above, can mean many things. I would make an argument that the most heavily utilized for of sound in advertising is music. Music has a way of impacting people emotionally. One needn't look any further than a Sarah McLachlan SPCA commercial - featuring her emotional song "Angel" playing over a slideshow of statistics and the saddest looking dogs and kittens you've ever seen - to see just how much of an impact that music can have on a viewer. One of the easiest way to see how music affects a particular scene is to focus on a particular moment in a film.
Sounds, of course, also find their way into advertisement via the voice-work provided by those working on a particular project. The affect of this type of sound is also quite dependent upon whom is speaking - Think Billy Mays vs the Sham-Wow guy.
I believe that sound can even make an appearance in print media.Whenever we read something, it is always with some internal voice. For example, if you were to read a scene from your favorite movie, you would most likely hear the voice of the actor speaking it in your head. Moreover, WHEN YOU READ THIS SENTENCE IT MAY SOUND LIKE SHOUTING IN YOUR HEAD! This is, in-part, due to the cultural context. In our society, capitalization denotes intensity. The exclamation point also helps to drive home the message.
Sound is one of the most versatile tools out there when you are attempting to craft a message, and it is important to never discount its significance.
I actively encourage you to seek out more information about the uses of sound in advertising and other media. Can you think of a time when either sound or silence was used to great effect in an ad? If so, leave me a comment! 
I hope to hear from you soon.

Until next time,

Jacob

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