The Science behind Sensory Marketing

Music & Visuals

Have you ever wondered how music can transform your mood? Some tunes take you on a rollercoaster of emotions while others pump you up for the party. But how does this work?

Photo by Jan Střecha on Unsplash

When we listen to music, our heartbeats synchronize with the tune and play with our hormones. The change in hormones further makes us feel in specific ways, for instance, to keep the energy high during a boring drive, we play loud and fast rhythms. These rhythms increase the adrenaline rush in our bodies and make sure we are wide awake. Similarly, music plays with our movements, say, while gyming, we tend to exercise with greater speed and weights if we are listening to loud and fast beats.

The same scheme is used by retailers to hush the crowd away; thus, you’d find Honey Singh’s albums in the last five minutes before the closing of the store, while Arijit Singh will be ruling during the day.

When we watch an advertisement, its music, cinematography, acting delivery, and every little detail adds up to give you the desired impact.

For instance, watch this advertisement by Gillette —

Did you feel like you were almost okay throughout the ad, but somewhere in the last few seconds, it made you emotional?

If you watched the complete advertisement, you’d notice it was the few frames focussing on the little boys’ faces with raising-pitch and intense tunes, along with gripping words at perfect timing, that made the whole ad so touching.

The build-up and details help to make that one perfect moment work.

Now, with changing customer behaviors come changing challenges. With decreasing attention timespan of people, advertisers find it compelling to make short ads so that people don’t miss the “perfect moment”. It brings another challenge of conveying the perfect moment in less time. The build-up now needs to be more effective as well as short.

Watch short creative ads by VW —

(Each ad is around 15 seconds long)

You’ll understand how they try to use a few seconds to their power. Marketers today use animated to silent ads in order to leave powerful messages; catching customer’s attention is the final deal at the end of the day.

Do you believe post-COVID-19, the average attention span would increase?

Photo by Balázs Kétyi on Unsplash

Have you ever wondered how brands come up with the color scheme for their products? Well, it’s more than their favorite colors.

Colors influence customer behavior, as humans tend to associate colors with specific meanings. These associations lead to reactions as per perceived meanings.

Colour red yells — Alert, warning, excitement, danger, anger, basically, feelings with high adrenaline release.

Marketers use these associations to target people subconsciously. Why Zomato, Pizza Hut, KFC, and other major food-related brands use a lot of color red? No, they don’t want to make you feel upset, but the body reacts in similar ways when it’s hungry or angry. (Hangry enough?). Similarly, yellow represents optimism, and green says pure, etc.

Colour associations and brands

These associations help the brands to convey their purpose aptly. It could be with words, feelings, products, and so on, however, everything is interrelated. Of course, the associations can’t be similar for each person; thus, marketers go with the majority.

In case you are curious to know about your color associations as compared to others, you can vote and check at

Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash

Taste & Aroma

Ever passed by Starbucks or Barista, and got attracted to the smell of coffee, making you feel like you need one?

Or let’s consider a random store in a mall with a fantastic aroma, making you want to get into the shop?

These are little tricks that the brands use to pull the customers through senses.

Dunkin Donuts once adopted a similar creative strategy on a bus. While traveling in the morning, people who took busses would be rushing to their offices. One of the stops had a Dunkin Donuts outlet nearby. Whenever the gates of the bus would open, a yummy fragrance of coffee would come from a spray (Flavor Radio), along with the brand’s advertisement, and the moment you get out of the bus, you’d see Dunkin Donuts right in front of you. The statistics of the strategy depicted an immense increase in visits, especially in the morning hours!

Another example is Apple, and if you have ever bought an Apple product, you would’ve noticed a particular fragrance of freshness whenever you open the packaged box! In case you haven’t noticed, try whenever you get a chance.


Photo by Timothy Muza on Unsplash

Touch is the most common type of adaptation of sensory marketing when we allow potential customers to try our products. When you enter a Sephora or MAC store, the employees will let you try the makeup, even give you a makeover. These experiences allow the user to “live” the product before buying and multiplies the credibility.

Your brand image and sales can be enhanced by making the best use of the five senses — Hear, Taste, Sight, Smell, and Touch. Plan how your product can be marketed using sensory marketing, and then let it sell itself!




Writer | Artist | Marketer

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Akshita Lomsh

Akshita Lomsh

Writer | Artist | Marketer

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