Project

Music and Advertising from Radio to the Internet

Program

ACLS Fellowship Program , Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowships

Department

Music

Abstract

This is a study of the rise of the mass in American culture: mass marketing, mass communications, mass culture, and mass consumption. Music used in advertising serves as the analytical lens of the project, for advertisers knew that the power of music could be harnessed to sell goods, and also recognized that certain musics could be used to appeal to particular social groups, large and small. The main questions to be addressed concern how advertising agencies use music as they struggle to address who they think the consumer is—a faceless member of the mass, or part of a segment of the market—and the tensions that arise between marketing to the mass or to a particular subset. The book resulting from this study will be the first history of advertising music in the US.