Brand Sound Machine

The design, the animation, the type, blah, blah, freakin’ blah. Visuals are all anyone ever talks about. And between you, me, and everyone else who reads this (hi, our moms!), I’m sick of it. Well, maybe just a little miffed. Actually, I’m fine with it. Regardless, I think it’s time we discuss how your brand sounds.

Listen, we live in an age where people switch from TV screen to phone screen during commercial breaks, so it’s safe to say sound in advertising is more important than ever. But the good news is, sound generates most of the consumer’s emotions. Don’t believe me? Just ask music. Blues feels sad. Punk is pissed. Ska’s always annoyingly happy. And GWAR could be singing about ponies, but their songs will still live in my nightmares. Still don’t believe me? Watch how easy “redrum” becomes rom-com.”

It works the same in advertising. With the right combination of noises—I’m talking music, SFX, voice tone, delivery, and magic—your ads can trigger an emotional response that amps up how much a consumer remembers your brand.

For example, check out this Volkswagen spot. You can’t help but be sucked in the moment you hear that song. It’s because it makes you feel something. (Don’t fight it.) And that’s not the only sound that succeeds in giving you the feels. A study featured in the American Journal of Management explained how every sound in this VW spot stimulates an emotion. The “engine starting” feels powerful. (Like a “force.” Get it?) And the “dog barking” drives home the feeling of…well, home.

So how do other brands utilize sound? Well, it was Honda’s countdown to an epic takeoff. It was Oral-B’s hilariously and relatable edited-for-TV holiday. And it’s RTA’s simple and contemporary jingle that will stick in your brain until the end of time. And then probably in the afterlife. Then the after-afterlife.

The moral? Give audio love and you’ll get some love back. Tune in next week for probably more visual crap. (Expensive mic drop.)

Give audio love and you’ll get some love back.

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Have a [Party Horn Sound Effect] weekend, everybody!
-Your Hi-Fi friends in Cleveland.