Brief #124: Multisensory branding (audio edition)

Today we’re discussing the power of sonic branding and how to maximize its potential– featuring our latest #BrandCrush: Mastercard.

Brands investing in sonic branding

Did you know hearing is the most memorable of our 5 senses? Humans also perceive sound faster than they see – 30 milliseconds faster than visual reaction times, in fact.

I mean… most of us know the McDonald’s theme song by heart, right? 

“Para-pa-pa-paaaa… I’m lovin’ it”

According to FastCompany, “Global giants such as American Express, Frito-Lay, Colgate, General Mills, and Walmart have significantly increased their sonic investments in the last 18 months.”

Mastercard even published an impressive audio press release to reveal their sonic brand! 

“Earlier this year, [Mastercard also] released a music album, Priceless, featuring that melody in every song. The composers are emerging talents from various cultures, languages and genres,” according to The Drum

That’s great – but what does this mean for the rest of us?

Think newsletters turned into audio. A jingle for your brand. A micro-sound when customers refresh your page. Podcasts. The future of ads within Google Home or Alexa. Audio logos. Re-purposing a customer’s audio (like the corn kid who became South Dakota’s official Cornbassador)! 

For example, not only was the viral “Corn Kid,” Tariq, named South Dakota’s official Cornbassador – but South Dakota repurposed Tariq’s original audio on their TikTok video, which garnered 7 million views.

👇🏼  👇🏼  👇🏼   

Implement audio in your strategy

A study by Ipsos shared that less than 1 in 10 brand assets use audio even though it’s 3x more effective than visuals – which means there’s still plenty of room for opportunity. 

That’s not to say you should forget about visuals. On the contrary, audio can help elevate your visuals. 

A fun exercise 💪🏼

Try involving your audience in the content creation process by asking: “if our brand were a sound, what would it be?”

To capture this content, encourage fans to submit their ideas via a microsite (like this). Even better, if you incentivize them!  

Keep in mind…

Accessibility! Several studies indicate that the majority of people watch videos on their phones with the sound off – and according to the World Health Organization, 1.5 billion people live with hearing loss, so consider adding transcripts and closed captions. 💡

Want to learn why sound is so effective? 

We released an awesome podcast with Eric Singer, Executive Producer of Coupe Studios Music and Sound Design, where we dive deep into the psychology of audio and sonic branding. 

Best part? The Coupe team added their own sonic twist to our episode. Listen up! You won’t want to miss it – it’s that good. 😉

What we’re learning 

Shameless plug 🔌

We interviewed marketers – but now we want to hear from consumers. Participate in our annual
state of user-generated and social content study!

Complete the quick 2-minute survey 👇🏼