Have you ever connected a song/tune to a brand or a, brand to a song/tune. Of course you have! Because apart from captivating imagery used in advertising, the right sort the aural equivalents are equally persuasive. If the message of the song is parallel to the one you are trying to convey, it becomes twice as clear to the target audience, increasing it’s recall value in the process. Another important aspect is that, much like the beauty of music, sound as a whole transcends language and cultural barriers, providing channels for easier delivery and reception of a message.
Enter the realm of Sonic Branding ; According to Audrey Arbeeny, the founder and executive producer of the Emmy-winning firm AudioBrain (the firm specializes in sonic branding) sonic branding is “the strategic development of a brand’s attributes through sound and its deployment across a multitude of touch-points to create a seamless, cohesive and authentic sonic presence.” So, Sonic branding essentially encompasses, the sound logo, the jingle, brand music, brand theme and the various touch points at which these elements are put to use. As you can imagine, a multi-million dollar industry has spawned from companies’ enthusiasm to capture the values and emotions associated with the product, sonically, and inject them into our minds.
According to David Huron in “Music in Advertising: An Analytic Paradigm” (Musical Quarterly, Vol. 73), the purposes of music in advertisements are to engage a listener’s attention and to make the advertising message less of an unwanted intrusion.(His paper is an interesting read. Here’s the Link (http://www.musiccog.ohio-state.edu/Huron/Publications/huron.advertising.text.html), This detail, I think is bang on. Think about all the advertisements you’ve grown up watching or listening to (I am a 90’s child) how many of them do you remember? I am quite certain, Nirma will stand out, so will Frooti and Vicco. I believe all of these brands have strong identities even today because of their amazing Sonic branding, Now these tiny pieces of music have crawled into our subconscious and have found a cosy little nook, where they will live on, forever. Given that India is a very sonically inclined nation (The lavish amounts of songs in a typical Bollywood movie, should be a dead give away) these brands were quick to incorporate engaging tunes into their adverts to make them more appealing to the masses. The earlier Sonic branding was more melody based, with the brand name mentioned repeatedly. These days, aural tools no longer just repeat the brand name, but are conveyed in a manner where the core brand ideologies are tied to the music more creatively.
Here’s a look at a few Companies who’ve got their sonic branding right:
The NOKIA Tune: GRAND VALSE (or Gran Vals)
Nokia has built its own unique sound personality as an integral part of their brand with the Nokia Tune which is taken from a composition called “Grand Valse”, composed by Francisco Tarrega (1852-1909) from Spain. The Nokia tune was first aired in early 1990s in TV ads while the tune appeared as a ring tone on a Nokia device in 1994. Ever since, it has been the default melody on hundreds of millions of Nokia handsets and has taken the world by storm. You’d have to be living under a rock if you don’t know this one.
INTEL’S : iconic four bongs
The masterpiece of sonic branding, is Intel’s “bongs” four notes which were composed in 1994 and have been heard more than a billion times since. The tune was designed by, composer Walter Werzowa after a weekend of contemplation.
BRITANNIA’S –TINTIN DRI TIN
This is brand I will recognize with my eyes shut. Quite literally. Even their website acts a touch point for sonic branding, as you move from page to page, the trademark tintin dri tin resonates at every click. Almost to the point of it being a wee bit annoying. Take a listen.
The average person out there may not be consciously aware that he/she is being bombarded by sonic branding tools and techniques daily. This, for the most part is because the reception of aural presentations is rather subliminal in nature, and therefore, the message is processed on an emotional plane rather than at a rational level.
Sonic Branding isn’t a new phenomenon, it’s been around for a long time, and is an integral part of sensory marketing. As traditional advertising spills over into an era of new media (we are talking about incredible speed in release of content ,Co-creation – blurred lines between producers and audiences, Sharing- social platforms and technology – web and mobile),the marketing techniques employed so far will be challenged by intelligent consumers, triggering a metamorphosis, by that virtue bringing to the fore stimulating and innovative concepts in marketing.
*tingling with excitement *