Manipulating Musical Minds
I learned something about subliminal manipulation of consumers recently while reading Parade Magazine. What I learned didn't surprise me. A study has show that if you play French music in a grocery store's wine department, folks buy more French wine. If you play German music they buy more German wine:
"In one experiment over a two-week period, British researchers played
either accordion-heavy French music or a German brass band over the speakers of the wine section
inside a large supermarket. On French music days, 77% of consumers bought French wine, whereas on
German music days, the vast majority of consumers picked up a German selection. Intriguingly, only
one out of the 44 customers who agreed to answer a few questions at the checkout counter mentioned
the music as among the reasons they bought the wine they did."
It's not quite as subtle as flashing "buy coke" once every 100 frames in a movie theater, but it's the same idea. But it got me thinking, what music would a store pipe in if they wanted to sell American-made wines?
Me being me, I immediately thought it would have to be Jazz, the only true art form to originate in America. However, I don't think that would do the trick. Jazz is now an international art form.
So what are we left with that would put an American shiver down a buyer's spine and force them to reach for Zinfandel? I can't imagine any grocer piping in The American National Anthem or "Yankee Doodle Dandy" or "God Bless America" or "America the Beautiful". All lovely tunes, but probably not suitable for the Safeway experience.
The best I could come up with were classic Broadway tunes. I'm thinking Richard Rogers, Irving Berlin, and Jerome Kern stuff. Even Cole Porter. Am I missing something? Unlike France and Germany and Italy, is America without a categorical sound that makes people immediately think: "Ah, America! Gimme That Zin!"