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
Music has the potential to become a powerful asset for a brand.
Why borrow or lease a piece of music when your brand can create something of its very own? The benefits of ownership include full exclusivity over the music, complete control over how and where the music is used and the added advantage of only having to pay once. One might say it’s a no brainer!
“Why bother licensing music when you can create a hit of your own?”
Creative director of Martin Agency, Dave Muhlenfeld, says of the “Wonderfilled” anthem that serves as the backbone of all OREO major campaigns.
Music is being consumed in more ways than ever before. If you are looking for innovation to drive the bottom line, then music could be the answer. Furthermore, if you can tap into the space where music and technology converge then you will be sure to engage and delight your consumers. First step, make a plan for an integrated innovation strategy that uses music to drive the idea.
“…the drinker is ultimately more connected to the drink, making for an exciting experience that combines flavour with sound.”
Oscar Ocaña, Marketing Director – Johnnie Walker
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 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.
The dream of any music agency is to become the single supplier of a massive conglomerate and today Big Sync Music announced they are in dreamland by becoming the exclusive supplier of music services to Unilever.
It is a big step for Unilever, a massive opportunity for Big Sync and a huge challenge for both as of them as they try to herd all their marketing agencies through a single music channel. But as long as the agencies play nicely then Unilever will now be in a position to implement effective sonic branding strategy across countries, territories and the world. It is a bold move for Unilever to commit to a single supplier but a sensible one as they now have the capability to create consistent and efficient identities for their brands and develop music strategies that are global marketing campaigns in their own right.
Exciting and exhausting times ahead for Big Sync Music. Now please wash your hands.
Here is the full story in Music Week.