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Wired for sound: Why brands need to shift the emphasis to audio experience

Wired for sound: Why brands need to shift the emphasis to audio experience
16 May
4:00

It is often said smell is the most evocative senses, readily resurfacing memories and feelings. But with marketers generally limited in their ability to reach the olfactory organs of most consumers, other senses can still be used to great effect.

One technological trend in particular is giving marketers a solid reason to revisit one of the remaining four – sound. For brands which have primarily connected with consumers via the Web, sound has been a relatively unimportant aspect of what has been a primarily visually-driven mechanism, expect in those instances where video is employed.

Now with Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s HomePod recently joining the Australian smart speaker market, consumers are gradually becoming more familiar with the idea of literally telling devices what to do – and listening back for their response. The result is that marketers are having to think more carefully about the audio experience they provide, rather than simply the visual.

Of course for many marketers the concept of using sound as a brand element is nothing new. Schweppes has been able to make great mileage out of the sound of a bottle opening, evening coining the term ‘Schweppervescence’.

And microchip manufacturer, Intel, achieved an even more remarkable feat, taking a simple five-note mnemonic tune composed in a garage more than 20 years ago (dubbed the Intel Bong) and turning it into a brand identifier estimated to be played somewhere in the world every five minutes.

The power of audio has also been well understood by creators of radio and television campaigns, such as the distinctive VB Big Cold Beer commercials, which continued to use the voice of actor, John Meillon, even after his death in 1989 (snippets of his voice were cut and pasted vocally to have him say the words ‘on tap’ in posthumous iterations of the campaign).

Distinctive voice

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