Courtesy of David Coxon
One of the great perks of being part of Ogilvy Group and WPP is having access to events such as Lab Day Live which was about ” making music matter to brands as much as it does to consumers”.
Held at Ogilvy’s Canary Wharf office last Friday, it was a day of two halves, with the morning devoted to expert speakers from the music industry and the afternoon with performances on three different stages, by an assortment of bands from Charlie Simpson (ex Busted) and Sophie Ellis Bextor to The Delays, Laki Mera and Pete & The Pirates, among others.
As a brand design agency, you may wonder why we’d bother attending an event like this – other than to have a very nice jolly. After all, music is the domain of ad agencies right? We don’t think so.
As Julian Treasure of the Sound Agency reminded us, brand sounds include everything from brand voice, sonic logos and telephone music to advertising sounds, branded audio (podcasting) and soundscapes in retail and brand spaces.
As with everything these days, music and sound is much more than just an advertising jingle – it is part of the 360° exposure that consumers have to brands across a variety of touch points.
So that’s why a brand design agency needs to be aware of brand sounds. At Coley Porter Bell, we create brands. We help identify the brand essence and bring this to life through a set of equities which can act as mnemonics – instant signifiers to identify the brand in a crowd. We create brand books and brand guidelines to ensure everyone who works with the brand understands its values, its personality and the way it should communicate with its consumers.
In our every-day lives, we communicate and create meaning using our five senses, and often, sight and sound are our most important senses. It therefore makes perfect sense, that one of the most powerfully engaging ways in which brands can communicate is with both the visual and the audio, and not just in advertising.
Ruth Simmons of Sound Lounge, gave a very interesting presentation. Quite rightly, she suggested that marketers wouldn’t dream of messing around with a brand’s core visual equities, for example, turning the Vodafone logo from red to purple, yet brand owners and agencies are quite happy to chop and change music and sounds, creating an eclectic brand sound, often at odds with the brand essence.
When you consider the reams of research to show the power of carefully chosen music and sounds with regard to increased purchase behaviour, it seems incredible that such an important asset is often overlooked and lacking guidelines. Some have even suggested that without guidelines sound just becomes noise. Ignored at best, irritating at worst.
Think of the power of sound; for example bird song to relax, jack hammers to raise the stress levels, the ‘holidays are coming’ Coca Cola Christmas song to signify the start of the festive season, the Intel sonic logo to identify a ‘thing’ that most of us have never seen, let alone understand, yet know it to be a good thing when we here that sound.
Brand sound is a visceral and potent brand asset if used correctly and congruently with the brand. In combination with powerful and distinctive visual equities the potential is even greater.
Here are some links for more information:
Lab Day Live
The Sound Agency