Down with the Woollies DJ

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Are you one of those people who will drive around the block one more time to hear the end of their favourite song? I sure am! Supermarkets thrive off and take advantage of this tendency of ours; the rationale being that the longer we spend in that supermarket, the more of its products we’ll be exposed to and the more we will potentially purchase (source).

Everything in a supermarket is carefully and deliberately constructed in order to stretch out the amount of time (and dosh) we spend there, including the music. In this week’s lecture Andrew Whelan spoke about the paradigms of music remixes, but he also touched upon the power of music to control our behaviours, alluding to “the Woolworths DJ”.

Music in supermarkets is designed to produce particular attitudes and behaviours in its consumers (source), namely the desire to purchase. This same source outlines a study which suggested that 76% of customers buy more (and 63% admit to it) when exposed to background music and 82% experienced a mood increase – who doesn’t buy more when they’re happy? The music tends to be relaxing, to make us want to stay and not focus on outside stresses. All we need to worry about is the lush display of some 44 000 grocery items (source) planted strategically and slyly in the aisles in front of us – what heaven!

A few Woolworths employees are in my tutorial, and they talked about how late on Friday and Saturday nights, more upbeat ‘young people’ music is played, because for some downright odd reason, teens and young adults make up the main demographic of stupid-o’clock grocery sprees.

So next time you’re in a grocery store, notice the background tunes – they were put there for you, after all – and ‘if it doesn’t make you go “oh! this takes me back to when I fit into jeans!” – you are not the target market’ (sincerely, my year 12 English teacher) – so does that mean you’re defying science? 😉


-Claire xD




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