The Challenge

Sennheiser believes its edge is offering sublime sound experiences, not average ones. But how to present that? Customers can watch two TVs side by side and immediately see the difference in quality. Judging sound is not like that - there is no side by side. Moreover, demo experiences in retail stores are generally poor. 

Premium sound quality is made up of three crucial elements – richness (hearing the whole frequency range), clarity (hearing all the subtle details) and soundstage (feeling as if you’re in the front row of the concert hall). This is not the experience that in-store demos tend to provide. You’re lucky if a working product is provided playing a basic loop of songs. How do we show our audiophile consumers Sennheiser’s superior listening experience?

The Insight

Our customer journey mapping revealed that many consumers buy premium headphones like a novice selecting wine. Without the tools to judge good sound quality, their influences are emotional brand legacies or rational factors like price.

Whilst there are tracks like Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’, that are rumoured to be good for pushing headphones to their limits, no track has ever been created with the sole purpose of doing exactly that. 

We would create an audio experience that would give potential customers those three crucial elements of top tier sound and promote it on a budget of just €40k.

Approach: A Unique Combination

To demonstrate what good sound quality feels like and how to identify it, we collaborated with renowned music composer and sound designer Tim Cowie, who specialises in creating audio and visual content for experiential installations and live performances. 

We created a perfectly curated piece of music, ‘Sound Check’, a unique composition mixed in Sennheiser’s AMBEO immersive 3D audio technology, specifically designed to test the richness, clarity and soundstage of any pair of headphones. 

Put on your Sennheiser headphones and learn how to hear the richness, clarity and soundstage of our headphones. Enjoy a four minute waltz through an amazingly detailed landscape of richly-layered, AMBEO immersive audio.’

Approach: An Immersive Online Experience

We created a digital hub where consumers could listen to and download the track, watch our ‘making of’ documentary film and find educational content including three tutorials on how to identify richness, clarity and soundstage on the headphones they’re using.

Approach: Pivoting Media Strategy

A world first, ‘Sound Check’ was planned to be launched at an immersive audio experience at SXSW in March 2020, followed by a UK/Germany/US roll-out across Sennheiser’s retail partners. 

However, due to COVID-19, we had to come up with a rapid alternative to launch our campaign and build engagement with our audiophile audience, the majority of whom were in lockdown. 

Instead, we partnered with c|net and VICE Media which included the VICE article ‘What Good Sound Quality Really Sounds Like’ which covered Sennheiser’s pursuit of perfect sound, and Tim’s journey creating ‘Sound Check’.  

Our media partnership launch significantly outperformed benchmarks.

Vice article views are 23% ahead of target at 51.7k views (vs 41.5k target)

Average dwell time is three times higher than the VICE norm: 2m20s, smashing the average benchmark dwell time onsite of 50s.

Impressions are 73% ahead of target at 8.4 million (vs 4.08m target). Indeed, they have already reached the 5 month campaign target by month 3.

We delivered total campaign reach of 4.1m users, more than double our 3 month target 5 month target reached by month 3.

The Results?

Our Soundcheck Documentary film reached 23,000 unique users in the first 2 weeks with a 25% view-through rate.

Bounce rate of just 24% (vs industry standard 60%+)

And an exceptional dwell time of 8m4s vs the Sennheiser.com average of 1m27s – four times our benchmark.


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Sennheiser: Sound Check

Together with music composer and sound designer Tim Cowie, MullenLowe Open and Sennheiser collaborated to create a perfectly curated piece of music, mixed in Sennheiser’s AMBEO immersive 3D audio technology, specifically designed to test these three elements in any headphones.