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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Music+Sound Awards is an opportunities to celebrate excellence in music and advertising through sync, sound design, composition, and production. This year's judging panel features Oscar-winning composer Mychael Danna, The Notebook composer Aaron Zigman, and representatives from agencies such as Yellow Boat Music, Bleeding Fingers Music, and ASCAP.
Over the past four years, mass-produced beer sales have stalled as consumers enjoy 'craft' brews or move away from beer altogether. Carlsberg Group responded with a visual rebrand that focussed on the company's Danish roots and history. Now their sonic brand has followed suit: Audio branding agency Sonic Minds have developed a new Carlsberg Group audio identity, which aims to communicate the company's history and unify the brand's sound across products and countries.
UEFA's Europa League have refreshed their visual and sonic brands in an attempt to accentuate the bolder, more authentic characteristics of the league, in contrast to the prestigious feel the Champions League. The Europa League audio assets consist of a brand anthem, along with 20 shorter variations for use in idents and bumpers.
Last year, whilst competitors focussed on broadband speeds and new technology, BT launched a new emotional brand positioning. "Be there" was designed to unite BT's platforms and focus on human closeness. And as "Be there" comes to fruition, BT are capitalising on their emotional approach through more considered use of music in marketing and audio branding strategy.
Mineral water brand Himalayan Sparkling have released a limited edition bottle that uses new technology to play the sound of the Himalayas as it is opened. The bottle is designed to create a multi-sensory experience that transports the user to the source of the water. The sounds include "whistling winds, melting mists, and drop by drop percolation".
For the fourth year, Transform Magazine have selected their 'best use of audio branding' projects. This year's award was won by two agencies: Chut! on vous écoute for their work with Leroy Merlin, and why do birds for the Siemens sonic brand.
Over 150 years ago, the London Underground set a new benchmark for transport communication design. Harry Beck's iconic map and Edward Johnston's were replicated around the world and their core elements remain in London underground’s design today. As companies become more aware of sonic signage and voice, we review the sound of the tube, which carries 1.37 billion travellers every year.
Olympic teams aren't renowned for their audio branding - despite the noisy, emphatic nature of most sports. But this Winter Olympics, TeamNL are implementing a new sonic identity, created by Massive Music. Their process included input from top Dutch athletes, and the end result is intended to communicate boldness, power, and a heavy dose of Dutch pride.
Have you noticed that aeroplane food never tastes very good? This may not be the fault of the airline. Many factors affect our sense of taste on flights: Lack of humidity, low air pressure, and 85 decibels of background noise all affect how we experience food and drink. This poses a problem for airlines, who have to modify recipes to include more salt or use more "vibrant flavours". Finnair and digital agency Mirum have come up with a unique audio branding solution.
With over 35 million passengers per year and expansion into banking and finance, Norwegian is a fast-growing brand with vast customer reach. Audio branding agency Adelphoi Music have worked with Norwegian to create a sonic strategy, aimed at helping customers recognise the brand "whenever and wherever they hear it.”
With 44 million merchant locations and 3.1 billion cards in circulation, Visa is the world leader in digital payments. Their visual logo is commonplace across card machines and websites. Visa have released three new multi-sensory branding elements - a sound, a logo animation, and haptic vibrations - which are designed to signify completed transactions.
Siemens is encapsulated by its slogan, "Ingenuity for life". For them, the brand is defined by its people and its technology. Audio branding agency why do birds used this as their core inspiration for a new sonic logo and audio strategy for the brand.
Earcoms (audio icons) are an important consideration for any service that communicates with its customers through digital interfaces - such as apps or websites. These short sounds can aid user experience and enhance a brand's audio identity. Facebook have released a set of 39 free sounds for app developers.
Nike have collaborated with Chinese soundscape artist h0nh1m to create a state-of-the-art soundscape installation in Hong Kong. h0nh1m (real name Chris Cheung) was tasked with translating Nike's Vapormax technology into sound.
Sound is just vibration. There is nothing in a sequence of notes themselves that generates powerful reactions, and yet music has the ability to directly influence emotion and action. The notion that commercial sound could influence purchasing decision used to be “pretty much ignored”.