We are all familiar with karaoke but do you know anything about videoke and the fantastic things you can learn from it? Valerie Fischer saw an opportunity and now helps entrepreneurs succeed by using her innovative ideas.
On my own
Pretending he's beside me
I walk with him 'til morning
I feel his arms around me
And when I lose my way, I close my eyes
And he has found me
This is an excerpt from the song "On My Own" from the musical Les Miserables. I used to sing it at videoke parties with all my bravado, giving everything I had. The musical was one of my favourites, and my ambitious self thought I could reach the high notes of this piece (I still do.)
The song soon took on a new meaning when I lost my boyfriend in 2012. The lyrics fit; the emotions were perfect. It became my go-to videoke song.
Videoke and Storytelling
The Asian community is well-known for our videoke sessions. Filipinos have the reputation of having bands in every corner of the world, specialising in covers spectators can sing along to. You will also see K-drama characters belting it out in karaoke bars all the time. Cambodians also love their beer gardens for Friday night get-togethers.
But what is videoke but modern-day storytelling?
Four hundred thousand years ago, when humans learned to control fire fully, our ancestors would gather around the campfire telling stories about the stars. Hunters coming from long adventures will share places they went to, the creatures they saw, which part of the land had food, and which jungles to avoid. Children would listen and learn. The elders would reminisce and dream of days past. All would be enthralled.
Stories developed our ability to understand one another and cooperate. This, in turn, led to a culture being established.
Now, think about what happens in videoke sessions. Don't we sing songs that have meaning and which affect us? Don't we choose music that reminds us of the past and makes us dream of a future? Singing is a form of storytelling. And the videoke machine is our campfire.
Music and Marketing
What can marketers learn from this? Well, for one thing, music connects us. It brings us together and gives us joy. Marketers can use music to create a campfire around their brand. We can use the stories from songs to associate our values and purpose.
Since 2006, two professors from the University of Central Florida — husband and wife team, neuroscientist Kiminobu Sugaya and world-renowned violinist Ayako Yonetani — have been teaching one of the most popular courses in The Burnett Honors College, "Music and the Brain". In one of their studies, Yonetani says that "Music may increase neurogenesis in the hippocampus". The hippocampus is the part of the brain that produces and retrieves memories. She said that music allows for "the production of new neurons and improving memory,"
Attaching music to your message makes it easier to remember.
Remember this jingle?
"I'd like to teach the world to sing
in perfect harmony
I'd like to buy the world a coke
and keep it company."
The accompanying video showed people of different colours, ages, cultures coming together for a Coke.
According to Bill Backer, who created the ad, the audience understood that Coca-Cola "could be a little social catalyst that can bring people together, talk things over, and sometimes communications get better if you're just sitting over a bottle of Coke and looking people in the eye."
Here's an idea: during a webinar or a live show, play music, ask the participants to turn their videos on and clap their hands to the beat while chanting a mantra or a slogan. The music then becomes a shared experience, even if it's virtual.
Think of it as the Superbowl. The halftime concert rivals the game itself. It breaks up the tension, provides entertainment, creates camaraderie and keeps the audience engaged throughout the event.
Additionally, like stories, music evokes emotions. An example is the Coca-Cola Christmas commercial. Like great Christmas stories, it stimulates all positive emotions and the thrill of anticipating this big holiday. Why not try creating content around a holiday or moment that lets your audience share their favourite songs and talk about why that piece is special to them. This can be another example of a virtual videoke and storytelling session with your community.
Research conducted by The Nielsen Company in 2016 confirmed the idea that music does help a brand connect with its audience on an emotional level. From a sample of 600 TV commercials, they found that advertising with music has:
● 4% more creative power
● 5% more empathy power
● 3% more emotive power
● 15% more information power
Compared with ads without music.
Create Rapport Through Music
Another reason to use music in your digital marketing is to create rapport. In Neuro-Linguistic Programming, rapport is that unconscious empathetic relationship with another person. It results in the feeling of comfort and liking another human being. Over time, rapport also results in developing trust and creates deeper relationships.
Matching and mirroring are two techniques we use to gain rapport. We match and mirror our audience's physiology, tonality and words. And we test this by "leading and pacing". If we lead, they will follow.
This is how you can apply this concept in your digital strategies:
Before a call, presentation or webinar, make sure you study your audience. Do some research on their profiles and find out the words they use and their demographics. Then use this knowledge to your advantage.
Before you start your session, try playing music meant to attract that age group and demographic. Find songs with lyrics similar to the words they use, the values they show and the things that they like. For example, I would play 80s and 90s music to a group of older business owners. In productivity sessions, I would sometimes play music videos on motivation.
Using this technique, the audience is primed to 'like' you even before starting the presentation - rapport comes from the simple principle that someone will like you because they think you are like them.
Music and stories affect our lives in so many ways. They help console, connect, lift spirits, share a message, heal. Marketers and business owners should learn how to harness the power these two have together, create advocates for their brands, and bring their message to a wider market to influence their customers' buying behaviour.
Valerie Fischer is a Neuro-Linguistic Programming practitioner. She has over 20 years of experience in advertising and marketing and has co-founded an e-commerce site for locally made products. Valerie was Chief Marketing Officer within a real estate company in 2019, but she was let go during the pandemic along with millions of Filipinos last year. And, as her story goes, this unfortunate incident led her to find her purpose by helping new online business owners and entrepreneurs grow their revenue with Brain Science Selling.
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