DDB UK has announced the appointment of a scientist in residence (SiR), a first in the advertising sector. Dr Daniel Müllensiefen, Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, joins the agency as SiR from September.
Dr Müllensiefen, who will be based at the DDB offices for several hours each week, will be offering expert input on a wide range of subjects including the evaluation of client campaigns.
As a forensic musicologist, Dr Müllensiefen has a special interest in the function and importance of music in advertising. His work combines elements of psychology, computing, musicology and statistics. In collaboration with BBC 6 Music and the British Academy, he is currently involved in a major research project involving ‘earworms’ - the technical term for those random fragments of tunes that become trapped inside our heads. With companies keen to tap into the values and emotions associated with their products, musical imagery and ‘sonic branding’ are now critical elements of many campaigns.
Dr Müllensiefen is also co-founder of the Goldsmiths MSc course, Music Mind and Brain, a unique programme which focuses on the biological and cognitive aspects of musical behaviour.
“Daniel will be running an education programme for both DBB staff and clients,” said Sarah Watson. “Goldsmiths students will also provide a valuable research resource for the agency.
It will help inform everything that we do, from strategy and research through to evaluation. We believe this reflects the real depth and authority that we are now able to offer as an agency. We’re hopeful that it will prompt wider debate and we’re planning a dedicated blog to invite input from across industry.”
This initiative is the latest in a long line of planning innovations at DBB including animatics, pre-testing of rough ads, in-house research, econometrics and ethnography.