Eighteen months ago, Visa became the first major payment brand to introduce multi-sensory branding when it developed sound, haptics and animation to accompany its transactions. Since then, these assets have been rolled out across over 25 countries and 1 million points of sale. Now Visa has released the results of internal research that claim that its sensory assets have increased customer trust, positive perceptions, and recall.
Just over one month ago, Mastercard revealed a streamlined visual logo and a move away from relying on using the brand’s name in its marketing. And its brand transformation continues with the release of a new audio identity. To create the sound, Mastercard worked with international musicians, artists and agencies, including Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park.
When Jean-Michel Jarre was tasked with creating an audio identity for HSBC, it was clear that this would need to be a universally engaging sound. HSBC is one of the world’s largest financial brands, with around 40 million customers in 66 countries, so this would be one of the most global and ambitious audio branding projects to date.
“Alexa, tell Whirlpool to start the dishwasher.” That may not be the phrase you imagined saying on a day-to-day basis, but commands like these might soon be the norm. Smart speaker apps are still in their infancy - most help with simple tasks like listening to the radio or checking the weather - but the marketing potential is huge. Some brands have already begun investing in these sonic experiences.
Philips’ mission is to make life better through innovation. MassiveMusic was tasked with creating a comprehensive sonic identity for the Philips brand. The global music agency counts Nike, BMW, and UEFA amongst its clients. Its main source of inspiration? The humble lightbulb - a globally recognised symbol of ideas, creativity, and imagination, and a product highly relevant to Philips’ history.
TV viewing habits are changing. The past few years have seen furious debate over whether traditional television advertising is “in trouble” or “alive and kicking”. This leaves brands and advertisers in a predicament - where and how to advertise? And when it comes to audio branding, where can they deploy sound most effectively?
When smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home “listen”, their understanding of the sonic environment is usually limited to spoken word. Audio-Analytic has been described as “the Shazzam of noise”. Their sound recognition technology is already helping brands deliver better customer experiences, and now they are envisaging a future where this relates more directly to audio branding.
Music affects our restaurant experience on both a sensory and commercial level. In contrast to the usual algorithmic approach, the New York Times recently brought to light the contribution of Ryuichi Sakamoto and his pursuit to improve the background music in his favourite local Japanese restaurant in Manhattan.
Background music and noise - known as "retail atmospherics" - are ubiquitous in retail, and for food and beverage brands. With competition from online food providers, physical stores are trying to compete on a more experiential level. Now researchers have studied how ambient music and noise levels affect retail selection - specifically healthy or unhealthy food choices.
Speaker company Sonos is making its mark on the stock exchange in more ways than one this week. To accompany its IPO debut, Sonos also revealed a creative collaboration with the Nasdaq Stock Market: a redesigned bell sound for the company. The sound of the Nasdaq bell had remained unchanged for 18 years.
How do you create an audio identity for a brand that celebrates "music without limits"? This was the challenge for audio branding agency Sixième Son when they created sonic assets for the Philharmonie de Paris. The Philharmonie de Paris is a cultural centre that encourages exploration of music.
Our reactions to music are complex and often personal. So how can a brand accurately choose music that fits its personality and resonates with its audiences? ABC_DJ aims to provide audio branding agencies with sophisticated tools that support their creative processes. Their powerful algorithm, developed over three years, selects brand-relevant music based solely on its audio characteristics rather than manually assigned tags.
The International Sound Awards are generally regarded as the most important prestigious audio branding accolades. The awards are organised by the Audio Branding Academy with the aim of "making the world sound better". This year sees 22 projects nominated over 10 categories - a 46% increase since 2017, which reflects the boom of the audio branding industry.