Kia discovers sonic branding with the help of Eric Serra

KIAI think in the spirit of journalistic integrity I will own up to the fact that I like the work of Eric Serra so when I heard he was doing Kia’s “sonic branding”, apparently that is what they have called it, I was a little scared. Either I’ll be forced to throw the towel in and accept that Mr Serra will now dominate the world of “sonic branding”, maybe I should adopt this catchy term, or I’ll cry into a bucket as one of my favourite composers sullies the name of “sonic branding”.

As with all “sonic branding”, I’m really liking that name, the key to success is in the brief. They seemed to be on the right track by calling the project “The Art of Surprise”, an interesting angle for a car brand. But then something emerged that made me a little sad. For the last month I’ve been working on some “sonic branding”, I’m now really sold on that name, for a client and I know how tempting it can be to stick meaningless words into brief that help gain sign off a little quicker. It is crucial to resist this urge and instead look for the true values of the brand, the ones that really make it different, make it a surprise. So when I saw the word “distinctive” in the core elements it did make me wonder how desperate they were to get the brief signed off. Who sits around in a brainstorming meeting and says “You know what we stand for. We stand for being completely indistinguishable from the next brand”. Distinctive as a brand value is a given, there is no need to have it on the list. Right back to the “sonic branding”, I think I may name my next pet that.

Anyhow they have created a track called the “Advent of Kians” which is apparently their first brand identity song. It’s meant to be pretty “ear-catchy”, their term not mine.

I’ll let you decide whether Kia and Eric Serra have nailed this. All I will say is that I’m not very surprised but hats off to them for investing a lot of cash and time into this thing they call “sonic branding”. The key thing now will be how they use their new “sonic branding”, implementation will determine whether we are all humming the “Advent of Kians” while we wash our Kias. Check it out on their website, watch the wonderfully generic mood video and then download the Irish version of the track as a ringtone. Here is a link to the webpage.

You can read the article about it from USA Today here.

One comment

  1. iV

    brilliant analysis. so much so that we’re striking “audio branding” in favor of “sonic branding” immediately.

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