Working on your next commercial or ad project? Maximize your potential for success with the perfect Shutterstock soundtrack.

The facts are in: when it comes to the success of ads, one component punches well above its weight: the soundtrack. According to a Nielsen study, ads with music performed better across all key metrics — creativity, empathy, emotive power, and information power — than those without.

Or how about this interesting number? Oxford University professor Charles Spence found that complementary sound can heighten the impact of visual marketing by an incredible 1207 percent. In other words, when paired correctly with commercial projects, music can be a powerful (and sales-driving) force.

Music in Advertising: The Right Soundtrack Makes All the Difference — Music in Advertising
Image via Akira Kaelyn.

At Shutterstock, we have thousands of royalty-free tracks by world-class musicians and music producers. Designed to engage listeners on an emotional level, our music makes for a powerful accompaniment to creative projects of all kinds — including your ads and commercials.

Let’s take a look at how you can use Shutterstock music to gear your next ad for maximum impact, and then access a curated playlist designed specifically to bring your projects to life.

A Soundtrack to Aspire to

One effective technique that advertisers frequently use to market their products involves appealing to viewers’ aspirations and hopes. When watching an ad, viewers should feel that if they buy your product, then they too can be as happy, beautiful, or smart as those they see on-screen. Musical choices go a long way toward achieving this response.

Music in Advertising: The Right Soundtrack Makes All the Difference — Aspire Soundtrack
Image via noina.

Music that sounds aspirational can take many different forms, depending on your needs. Take this TV commercial for Kraft, for example.

The ad uses the track “Uplifting Power” by Lost Harmonies to great effect. The upbeat pop-rock track is undeniably confident, fun, and catchy. By encouraging viewers to feel a sense of joy and fun themselves, they’ll associate the product with those very same positive emotions.

Another great real-world example of Shutterstock music in action is the following Subaru TV commercial from Argentina. It puts the positive, upbeat “On Top of It” by Luciano Music Co front and center. Here, with no sound effects or voiceovers, the music does much of the heavy emotional lifting.

Beyond promising good times, music can tap into viewers’ larger dreams and hopes too. The L’Azurde Diamonds commercial below uses an elegant, textured, contemporary track called “Streetlights” by Finn Productions. In the process, it’s suggesting that viewers can reach a new level of sophistication and beauty.

“Corporate” music is another effective style that works great in more serious commercials. This ad for True Balance uses “Work in Order” by JAM Studio. The track is positive and upbeat, but it still maintains a level of seriousness — the perfect tone for a financial management tool.

The Key Takeaways

  • Music that works great in ads connects with viewers on emotional and aspirational levels.
  • Depending on the product you’re advertising, effective musical styles to consider include fun, upbeat, sophisticated, elegant, and corporate.

Find the Right Track Fast

With thousands of tracks by world-class musicians, it’s easy to find the perfect soundtrack for your ad at Shutterstock. To start, use the intuitive search filters to sort tracks by the suggested styles and genres mentioned above, like our corporate, uplifting, feel good, pop, and electro-pop selections. Also, check out the new annual unlimited music subscription.

To make your soundtrack search easier, our team of music experts has also compiled a playlist of tracks tailor-made for ads. Take a listen, and then why not dive into our full music collection too? Your perfect ad soundtrack is right at hand. Not enough, check also our high-quality royalty free music at

Cover image via Kochneva Tetyana.