A Soundtrack for Success: How Black Music Drives Advertising Messages

Discover how Black music defines advertising strategies by evoking emotions, enhancing cultural relevance, and driving engagement. Read for insights on successful campaigns.


Dec. 14 2023, Published 4:19 p.m. ET

Black music has influenced advertising campaigns for decades.

The Black Lives Matter movement and other Black empower causes have become more pronounced than ever before, hence the world has been brought to the consciousness of the power and abilities of Black culture in every sphere of life. However, Black music has also played a critical role in society — especially when it comes to advertising.

The influence of Black music on advertising campaigns covers messaging, branding, audience engagement, and enhanced cultural representation. The following are key ways Black music has been used to influence advertising.

Cultural Relevance

Black music continues to set the trends and because it shapes brand consumption culture, brand owners have eagerly aligned their ideas and promotional spending with the contemporary Black culture. Elements of diverse black music genres like Afrobeat and reggae are now incorporated into campaigns to make brands relevant and appeal to diverse demographics.

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According to Chatter Buzz, Black music will influence commercials in several ways; evoke emotions, trigger an action, create a story, and boost sales.

In 2021, Apple Music launched its “All Music is Black Music” campaign to highlight that “all popular music comes from the origins and experiences of black people.”

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Other recent well-known campaigns featuring popular Black artists include Jay-Z’s “03 Bonnie and Clyde” for Airbnb in 2022, “If You Love Me,” by Lizzo for Google Pixel 6, and Kia’s use of “Park Rock Anthem’ by LMFAO.

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Black Music is Authentic

Brand owners have identified the credibility and authenticity of Black music, and that is why advertisers continue to add more authenticity to their products and services by promoting Black music and culture. With the inclusion of Black artists and genres, promoters will make their products and services resonate with certain demographics making it easier to spread their messages.

According to AdAge, some of the best ad campaigns influenced by Black music are “My Black is Beautiful” by Procter & Gamble, “The Black Panther” by Lexus in 2018, and “Spike and Mike” by Nike. These campaigns are still relevant and aired today to celebrate Black artists and Black culture.

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Collaboration and Cross-Promotion

Black music has also been used in marketing campaigns for collaboration and cross-promotional purposes. Today, many brands across the world continue to collaborate with Black entertainers or use their music to promote their services and products.

These collaborations always benefit the artists and brand owners and also ensure brands expand their reach across different demographics. Black musicians benefit from these collaborations because their fan bases increase while brands’ images are reinforced.

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Acknowledgment and Respect for Cultural Roots

When Black music is used for promotions, brands make it important to respect the music context and its cultural roots. This creates lots of positive associations with brand products and services. Brands that are culturally-insensitive often receive massive backlash which in turn destroys their reputation.

Brands that successfully break into new ground and expand their consumer base use Black music to achieve their aims because they respect the culture.

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Emotional Connectivity

Nothing can be promoted without some emotional connection, this is the reason why brands that rely on Black music that is rooted in cultural elements and carry emotional depth, use the music to advertise their products and services. Popular Black music like afrobeat, jazz, and hip-hop often evoke emotions in their audiences, thus helping brand owners convey their messages speedily and effectively.

Many adverts today can be seen to be fused with diverse Black music soundtracks and jingles and they always convey emotional resonance that impacts advertising campaign efforts.

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