This article examines effects of tempo and familiarity of background music in TV advertising. Based on the resource-matching rationale stating that processing of a message is maximized when the resources demanded by the processing task match those people are able to make available, the authors predict an inverted-U-shaped relationship between the tempo and message recall. The prediction is fully supported when familiar music is used, but not when unfamiliar music is used in the background. Possible explanations of the results are offered and their implications are discussed. © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.