There are instances when a piece of brand content may not allow use of your brand’s visual identity in marketing communications. If you have designed an audio identity that is intrinsically linked to your brand including its visual identity and its values, this over time will stand on its own two feet. Your audio branding will, in time, allow you to connect with your consumers through sound alone.
“When you hear the sonic signature of Shell, we’d love to think that even if you can’t see it, you can somehow visualise the Shell logo and feel the whole cachet of the brand with it”
Dean Aragon, VP Brand and CEO – Shell Brands International AG
By placing music at the heart of a brand’s eco-system, it is possible to put in place a system for generating income. The royalties associated with the ownership of music should incentivise brands to create and manage their own assets. However, long-term planning is a must and a desire to nurture and protect your brand’s musical framework is fundamental to a return on investment.
“All the classic songs you know from Disney films, we have publishing for most of the artists that we sign, as well as other songwriters that write either externally or internally for our artists or film and TV projects.”
Ken Bunt, President – Disney Music Group, Walt Disney Company
Everyone who has ever worked with music knows how time consuming the process can be; from subjective music selections though to negotiations over rights and terms. Audio branding means putting in place a system for managing a brands sound. First step, define some creative guidelines for how your brand stakeholders will search and select music in the future.
“Many CMOs can talk about how important music has been to their campaigns, but for me, it has been a soundtrack to my entire career … at Fiat or Chrysler, music won’t ever be a finishing touch. It will always be a core of the idea.”
Olivier François, CMO and Head of Fiat brand – Chrysler Group and Fiat Group Automobiles
The key to using music strategically is to use it often, consistently and in line with your audience’s tastes and habits. Use it to drive memorability and recognition in a crowded market-place by adopting our ‘recency, relevancy, frequency’ model.
“It’s always our ambition to continue this tradition by featuring great music in our advertising that people will remember and love decades from now.”
Joe Belliotti, Head of Global Music – The Coca-Cola Company
Sound is everywhere.
Go beyond how you look and feel and begin to harness its power. Make sure you use every opportunity for music and sound to reinforce your brand and its personality. And don’t leave it to chance. Use it to connect and form long-lasting relationships with your consumers.
“Music has played a pivotal role in our stores for over 40 years and we have been at the forefront of how to integrate it into a retail environment.” Together with Spotify, Starbucks has built a differentiated third-place experience with music at the heart of its coffeehouse culture.”
Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO – Starbucks
The regular readers amongst you will be aware that when it comes to covers in ads I am more than a little sceptical. There are two main reasons for this:
1. Covers of tracks that were the soundtrack to my youth, the originals are always better;
2. John Lewis Christmas Ads.
I was a little concerned when I heard that for the new Lynx ad Big Sync Music had chosen a cover of Guns & Roses’ “Welcome To The Jungle”. John Lewis’ cover of The Smiths was bad enough but could I cope with this truly massive track from Axel and Co. being reinvented? And if the idea of the cover wasn’t challenging enough then factor in that it has been done by a fella called Novo Amor who is known for his “captivating ethereal, folk songs” rather than aggressive metal moments.
You know what, I think this is a brave and impressive cover. I don’t know which came first, the visuals or the music, but they work beautifully together. The surreal, filmic nature of the ad makes the reimagining of “Welcome to the Jungle” fit comfortably. The track is challenging which fits well with Lynx’s move away from its Lads Mag past.
Am I going to re-evaluate my issues with covers? Nah, after all John Lewis is currently planning their Christmas 2015 ad which I am sure will feature some version of a pop track from the 90s. But what I will do is acknowledge that covers can be really good if someone sticks their neck out and tries something a little more challenging.
Now, enough about the cover, its time for a classic.
I’ve got through January and I feel I avoided BIG DATA as much as possible. Now that February has arrived I think I can be allowed one mention of the BIG D. I am no fan of the marketing concept that is BIG D, for me just having loads of data is fairly useless. Data is an ingredient we need to create insight, what I would like to see more of is BIG INSIGHT. So I was very interested to see that GROUP M Entertainment, Sports and Promotion employed GROUP M NEXT to provide GROUP M with some proprietary insight on how people really quite like music, GROUP M, sorry I think I’ve developed a tick.
So the insight has been delivered in the form of a report called The New Music Model for Brands: How Live Events and Digital are Changing the Sound of Things. I’ll summarise it, people like music, they listen to it loads and they like brands when they help them listen to it. OK it’s a lot deeper than than but I think it is better if you read the report itself, its good stuff. If you don’t have the time just yell out “People like music, GROUP M says so” when you are stuck for something to say in a meeting.