Country Music is Cool: Advertising, Symbolic Excludivores and Musical Omnivores.

Open Access
Behnken, Dawn Ziegerer
Graduate Program:
Media Studies
Master of Arts
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
February 27, 2012
Committee Members:
  • Francis Erin Dardis, Thesis Advisor
  • country
  • music
  • advertising
  • cool
  • coolness
  • omnivorousness
  • television
  • genre
  • indie
  • hip hop
  • trendy
  • friendly
  • country music
Music from many popular music genres such as indie, hip hop, pop and rock is used in national television advertising. Country music is not often used. The term “symbolic excludivore” refers to those stating a dislike for country music. This study revealed symbolic excludivores exposed to country music in television advertising did not have negative attitudes compared to those who like country music. The concept of omnivorousness, or the quality of being “well-rounded” predicted more positive attitudes in those viewing an advertisement in the “indie” music condition. A measure for “coolness” was developed and a dimension of coolness called “trendy” mediated between omnivorousness and attitude related variables. Country music was found to be more “friendly” than hip hop music in the “fashion” condition. Further study may reveal negative stereotypes involving country music do not match actual experiences with music used in commercials.