Stand out with sonic branding

Written by Rich Cross, Junior Copywriter

Brands like Audi, Philips, and Pepsi all invested heavily in their audio branding in recent times – while giants like Mastercard, Apple, and Nintendo continue to reap the rewards of years of dedication to the art of sounding like themselves.

One standout example is Pepsi’s PopFizzAhh campaign which uses sound to tie the experience of its product line with its youthful brand identity.

As we speak, briefs are being written for top brands scrambling to play their part in the audio branding craze.

But why should WE care? In short, because it works. A recent study between YouGov and DLMDD found that 20% of young adults are more likely to choose a brand with a sonic identity than one without. For TikTok connoisseurs Gen Z it’s likely even higher.

There’s also the fact that only a handful of brands are using audio branding to its full extent. Only 43 of the top rated 250 Audio Brands use owned music, with most limiting their sonic output to logo stings and voice overs.

We took an owned music approach with our client Rajah Spices, working with renowned music producer Aman Hayer to produce a Rajah-owned track that resonates with their British South Asian audience.

When it comes to retention, sound is king. Hearing is the sense most closely linked to memory, which is why music is often used in the treatment of dementia. It’s also why you can’t even read McDonalds without hearing the jingle, can you?

And of course there’s the holy grail of advertising: emotion. It’s a word you’ll find stamped on every campaign brief in the land, and yet conjuring it can seem out of reach for us marketers. But how often do we consider sound in our approach?

Check out this emotional D&Ad Yellow Pencil winning entry for the UN Refugee Agency; click here.

Perhaps the best way to tug at our heartstrings is through our ears. It makes sense – just imagine your favourite film scene without its soundtrack, or a breakup without Adele.

Here’s the thing. If the trend continues, sonic branding will become more important than ever. The signs have been there: the surge of investment by top brands; the rise of podcasts (and audio ads to go with them); TikTok’s use of sound to define trends; and now Google making audio ads accessible to everyone.

It seems that brands who want to stand out this year need to make some noise.
Like the sound of that? Give us a shout to chat all things sonic branding and join the conversation on Insta @krowcentral

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