Music To Their Ears

Why brands should never neglect the power of sound

Kara Melchers

Managing Editor, BITE Creativebrief


We’re all aware of the power sound can have to trigger different emotions. Horror films aren’t half as scary if you watch them on mute. The National Gallery commissioned musicians and sound artists for their latest exhibition, Soundscapes, which encourages visitors to ‘hear’ the paintings and ‘see’ the sound.

“The thing that’s so amazing about music and sound is that you can get across this incredibly complex, rich emotional story in like two seconds,” said Joel Beckerman, award-winning Producer/Composer and Founder of Man Made Music. He has worked with artists from John Legend to and developed sonic branding for global giants including Disney.

Last year Honda and Dentsu Tokyo were able to re-tell the story of Ayton Senna’s record breaking Japanese Grand Prix lap using engine sounds and light. Honda’s on-board engine telemetry system had recorded every aspect of the 1989 lap. Using this data, engineers were able to resurrect this significant moment in time and create a poignant film that struck a chord with customers and the industry alike.

Sound and music are integral to every experience we have. Beckerman describes sonic as “the next frontier of brand identity,” which is why a music strategy has become an important part of communications. Some brands are intrinsically tied to music. Converse 100 Club, itself a piece of music history, is a key part of the brand’s identity. Their agency Amplify work to elevate this link with music and kindle the shared values of individuality and creativity.

Sound and music have the power to release emotion, relive moments and give a brand cultural relevance.

It’s a medium not to be neglected.

Read on for examples…

Coca Cola Make A Truly Global Anthem For The Fifa World Cup

Coca Cola’s ambition was to bring the story of ‘The World’s Cup’ (the central Coca-Cola campaign idea) to life through music in a culturally powerful way. Their strategy was to create an inclusive music journey that customers around the world could watch unfold during the lead up to the games.

An anthem was created that embodied Brazilian heart and soul. The lyrics had international reach and relevance and the rhythm was composed to promote movement and togetherness. Core talent for all components of the music production came from Brazil. As the anthem travelled the world, local artists contributed to the track adding new levels of flavour and diversity.

In the build up to the games 32 different language versions of the anthem were released, videos were created and local radio and media promotions took place in over 120 markets.

As the World Cup launched, the song travelled back to Brazil where Coca Cola mixed all the local versions to create the World’s Remix, a truly global anthem.

Agency: FRUKT , London

chart position in 40 countries
views on YouTube

Thalys Train Network Transports Visitors Via Their Ears

Thalys captured the sound identities from parts of Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam and turned them into audio billboards. The billboards each have over 1,000 sounds and every sound has its own jack for visitors to plug in their headphones. Archive sounds were also used to bring historical landmarks to life. The unique outdoor campaign allows people to start exploring each city before they even board a train.

Agency: Rosa Park, France

Jack Daniels’ Music Strategy Rocks!

‘Jack Rocks Your Town’ is the latest activation of Jack Daniels’ music strategy. To dramatise Jack Daniels’ rock and roll credentials they asked a rising US band, The Rival Sons, to start their world tour in the unlikely location of Holmfirth, a sleepy West Yorkshire town. The idea met the competing needs of the brand, the band, different media, the gig and the town itself. 3.6m total views of the video across all paid and social activity, 45 pieces of coverage with an OTS of over 78 million.

Agency: Splendid Communications, London

Red Bull Turn The London Eye Into 30 Nightclubs

Red Bull’s Revolutions in Sound was the grand finale for the Red Bull Music Academy’s 15th anniversary. For one night only, they transformed 30 capsules of the London Eye into individual gig/nightclub spaces to pay homage to the seminal players of nightlife culture in the UK. All 30 capsules were live streamed in real-time as part of an exclusive partnership with Concurrent streams were available on YouTube allowing fans across the globe to participate in the unique celebration.

Agency: innovision, London

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