One of the more interesting projects that I worked on with my colleagues at Sonicbrand was for a leading toothpaste company who wanted to explore the “sound of clean” in the context of an electric toothbrush. The outcome of the project was more interesting on a theoretical than practical level as actually engineering a cheap electric toothbrush to sound like the equivalent of an oral Rolls Royce was pretty difficult. Therefore I was interested to hear what Colgate would come up with from their latest foray into sonic branding.
Colgate, a brand built around probably the most inappropriate colour for those thinking about cleaning their teeth (red), has been around for ages and has the luxury of being known by pretty much everyone who likes to avoid regular visits to the dentist. So it is interesting to hear the expansion of their brand identity through a new sonic logo created by CORD Worldwide .
Toothpaste marketing has often featured sonic branding through the use of jingles that either go on about how bad your breath smells or try to turn two minutes of scrubbing into a Glee type moment. Just check out Aquafresh’s Brushing Song. In the case of Colgate they have gone for something more global and subtle. Following some fairly extensive development work we have the Colgate sonic logo. Three seconds of audio that, if the various marketing agencies around the world use carefully, we will probably be hearing a lot more of in the future.
The use of the sonic logo in the new advertising campaign feels a little forced as it differs so much from the main ad music but that is not such a bad thing as it makes you more aware of it. The true strength of the logo will emerge over time as they make further developments and utilise the flexible nature of their new sonic branding to create an adaptive platform for the communication the whole Colgate brand.
This is one for all you sonic branding purists.
For all those interested in how music and brands can play nicely, here is a new book you should have a look at: Hit Brands: How Music Builds Value for the World’s Smartest Brands.
It brings together a trio of leading thinkers and business minds from the world of music and brands. You’ve got Daniel M. Jackson, founder and MD of CORD Worldwide, Richard Jankovich, who has loads of impressive job titles and has worked with some of the biggest brands, and Eric Sheinkop, CEO of MusicDealers.
Forget that Union J 2014 Annual you were thinking of buying and try this for some bedtime reading.
UPDATE: I’ve had to replace the video with a slightly dodgy recording of the ad as the license must have run out on the music and they’ve pulled it from You Tube
Now that Halloween is out of the way we can all start thinking about the next opportunity to stuff the children full of chocolate and sweets – Christmas. In the past we all looked forward to the Queen’s Speech and a Fools and Horses Special but nowadays Christmas is actually all about really expensive TV ads from the big retailers featuring big name voiceovers and covers of songs that you never thought would work when sung really slowly.
I’ll be honest I almost threw the towel when John Lewis used a cover of The Smiths’ “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” sung by Slow Moving Millie, don’t get me started about them referring to it as her track. Anyway it is Christmas so dust off the christmas decorations, shop like crazy on Amazon and look forward to the annual campaign against the X Factor winner Christmas number one, here come the ads.
Off the blocks nice and quickly is Debenhams with an ad that breaks a golden rule, the artist is singing their own track but to keep things Christmassy she’s singing it a little bit slower and there’s a nice big choir doing backing. So whip out your mistletoe to the sound of Foxes singing Youth.
Music supervision: CORD Worldwide.
Label: Sign of the Times
With winter approaching it seems sensible to start thinking about next spring and with spring comes SXSW. So if you are thinking of attending next year’s behemoth, Austin based event then here are a few sessions at the Music bit that sound quite interesting for some insight into how brands and music have been or will be working together.
So if you are lucky enough to be in Austin next March with a few hours to spare between wandering the streets and bars check out the sessions.