Thought Leadership

DigitalArts – Striking the right note: Why brands are sounding the same during the Corona-crisis 1024 576 amp

DigitalArts – Striking the right note: Why brands are sounding the same during the Corona-crisis

Striking the right note:
Why brands are sounding the same during the Corona-crisis

 

Close your eyes and listen – if you’ve had commercial TV on in the background or the radio during your daily lockdown routine, you may have found yourself listening to the brand soundtrack to the Coronavirus crisis.

Over the past two months, brands such as Uber and Samsung have adapted their advertising efforts to the current COVID-19 situation. The most common elements of Coronavirus soundtrack include soft piano music, voice-overs that invoke “these uncertain times,” and dulcet tones conveying the brands’ promises.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s amazing how similar the music and tonality is within a huge array of commercials - a point picked up in this YouTube montage of recent advertising by “MicrosoftSam”.


Click on the video to hear some of the examples.

There are specific types of music that establish seriousness and show that a brand is taking a stand. Research shows that the use of emotional Piano-String-Ensembles
evokes feelings like grief, empathy, and caring. Ergo, everybody taps into the same
genre of music.

Does this matter? Well, as brands want to strike the right tone, they risk low engagement if they fail to stand out.

One of the brands that stands out sonically is Mastercard, the recent winner of our 2020 Best Audio Brands Ranking. Even though the tonality of its visuals andmessaging might be similar to some other brands, its use of music differs.

By leveraging a Sonic DNA based approach, Mastercard has created music that is culturally appropriate in style, but at the same time still features its iconic set of melodies.Mastercard has embraced a holistic sonic identity and managed to implement it across a variety of touch points, making it a central element of their multi-sensory marketing strategy.

"As we move away from screens and linear  television viewing and interactive voice technologies become a bigger part of our everyday lives, designing audio brand strategies that can be woven, just like visual ones into every consumer touchpoint, whether service interaction or marketing execution makes increasing sense."

Michele Arnese, CEO & Founder of amp

You can read the full article on Digital Arts.

Global Banking & Finance Review – The sound of money 1024 576 amp

Global Banking & Finance Review – The sound of money

The sound of money – how FInancial services companies are using audio branding to communicate with customers

 

Money has traditionally been a visual and physical entity and financial services brands have as a result become some of the world’s most recognisable brand imagery.

But there is now a compelling case for financial brands to become recognisable audio brand entities as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The digital age has created a vast new range of touchpoints through which people
interact with commercial enterprises in their daily lives. We have become accustomed to accessing retail transactions, information, healthcare, entertainment and of course financial services through many different channels.

"Not only does sound build an emotional connection
with consumers, it can also significantly shape the customer experience, building loyalty, recall, and trust
over time and with repetition."

Michele Arnese, CEO & Founder of amp

Given the impact of COVID-19 around the globe, we will likely experience a new normal where physical transaction will need to make way for new, “contactless” forms of connection. That and the mass adoption of smart speakers with voice assistants enabling audio-search, command and transactional capabilities inhouseholds, has added to the spectrum of channels through which we interact with brands and is pivoting service technology firmly in the direction of audio.

So, what should financial service brands sound like in a world with so much competing background noise? How should they use audio to augment visual cues and engage customers more effectively when they either interact with a brand or are touched by it marketing out-reach?

Our Best Audio Brands study objectively and comprehensively evaluates audio brands based on the full spectrum of audio touchpoints available. This year, Mastercard was recognised as the world’s top-performing audio brand, leaping up the index from 72 place in 2019 and dethroning the previous best performer – McDonald’s. Last year, Mastercard dropped the text from its logo, switching to a minimal design featuring the iconic interlocked circles. This step signaled a profound rethink about the way in which people recognise brands.

 

 

Mastercard’s holistic brand strategy now integrates audio-visual elements in a way that can adapt to our changing digital experiences. One of the brands that stands out sonically is Mastercard, the recent winner of our 2020 Best Audio Brands Ranking. Even though the tonality of its visuals andmessaging might be similar to some other brands, its use of music differs.

 

Beyond that, Mastercard launched a multichannel marketing campaign each built on strands of its sonic DNA. It included for example custom owned tracks and soundscapes featured in an installation in the Priceless restaurant in New York City.

You can read the full article on Global Banking & Finance Review.

Sound In Marketing Podcast – Does Your Sound Fit Your Brand 1024 683 amp

Sound In Marketing Podcast – Does Your Sound Fit Your Brand

Sound In marketing podcast:
Does your sound Fit your brand?

 

Sound in Marketing is a podcast series produced by Dreamr Production and hosted, written, and edited by Jeanna Isham.

Jeanna focuses on the world of opportunity in marketing that has not yet been fully realized; sound. She breaks it down and shows how sound design and a sonic identity is accessible for companies and brands that are both big and small.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In episodes #40 and #41 she interviewed Vijay Iyer, amp’s head representative in the US. They discussed the importance of putting real thought into what your brand should sound like. All music and sound should be looked at not as does your brand fit to that sound, but does that sound fit to your brand.

 

"We shouldn’t be looking at fitting our brand to music, we should be fitting the music to the brand."

Vijay Iyer, Head of amp U.S.

Sound creates a universal identity that breaks down barriers and interprets our human culture and societies as a whole. Culture affects technology that affects industries that affects world economies. It’s all important, it all matters, and it all must be considered.

 

Listen to Sound In Marketing Podcast - Does Your Sound Fit Your Brand with Vijay Iyer, Head of amp USA.

 

Explore more interesting podcast episodes with Jeanna from DreamrProduction, by clicking here.

CNBC TV – COVID19 ADVERTISING 1024 533 amp

CNBC TV – COVID19 ADVERTISING

How James Bond can help brands stand out from the advertising crowd

 

Some say TV commercials during the COVID19 pandemic have ended up looking and sounding the same. So could a strong sonic strategy, that goes beyond a jingle, help brands stand out from the crowd?

Hear from CNBC International, featuring Mastercard's CMO, Raja Rajamannar, and the CEO and Founder of amp sound branding, Michele Arnese!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sound has the potential to enhance experiences and connect with our feelings and ideas in ways that evoke authentic emotion and trust in the brand itself.


There are a lot of possibilities to integrate the brand communication into seamless customer experience, if you are able to watermark your brand in the soundtrack of a commercial.

You can filter your own identity through the different tonalities and emotions that are required by certain communication.

That’s why we are talking about having a SonicDNA, which is more than just one musical motif. It’s a set of ingredients that you can take on a journey trying to adapt them in a right way for the right context.

And in the COVID19 context it is more somber and empathic way of communicating.

Five Minutes with Uli Reese – Transform Magazine 1024 683 amp

Five Minutes with Uli Reese – Transform Magazine

Five minutes with. . . Uli Reese

 

Uli Reese, one of the world’s foremost experts on audio brand management and global CMO at amp sound branding talked to Transform Magazine about all the ins and outs of audio branding, from how a company can improve its audio brand to the process that goes on behind creating the perfect sonic brand experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we move away from screens and lineartelevision viewing and interactive voice technologies become a bigger part of our everyday lives, brand visual identities get less attention from consumers. To establish brand recognition, it is therefore more important than ever for brands to think about how they sound.

For example, our approach at amp is similar to a standard design process. We start off with a brand analysis followed by a sound workshop. We use the workshop results to prepare a creative briefing. Based on that, we develop, evaluate and refine several creative routes for the brand’s sound DNA. The output of these routes is the final sound DNA of the brand – a creative of an entire audio language based on the brand’s essence, values, promise and personality.

 

 

 

"The power of sound in communication goes beyond its critical role as tool in a world with less visual real estate. It also has the potential to enhance experiences and connect with our feelings and ideas in ways that evoke authentic emotion and trust in the brand itself."

Uli Reese
Global CMO at amp

 

The golden age of audio has opened new ways of communicating.

Read the full interview at Transform Magazine to find out more about sound, and how and if brands are taking advantage of it for consistent brand experience across a multitude of touchpoints.

 

For more #sonic news like this explore our AMP NEWS page.

Cyanite Talks #1 with Karolina Namyslowski, Senior Creative at amp 800 499 amp

Cyanite Talks #1 with Karolina Namyslowski, Senior Creative at amp

Cyanite Talks #1
with Karolina Namyslowski

 

Sound and music are the universal languages in the world.

Especially the increasing popularity of audio through music streaming, podcasts and Co. makes the creation of a sound identity an essential component of brands personality.

"If" a brand uses audio in the right way, it is 96% more likely to be remembered and build a lasting relationship with its customers. The "If" exists because it's one of the biggest challenges for a brand to find its sound.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That's why the team at cyanite.ai sat down with amp's Senior Creative and Team Lead, Karolina Namyslowski, to find out more about the challenges when finding the right music for a customer, how subjective music is, and especially if and how the use of AI benefits her work as a creative.

“Our greatest challenge and mission is to settle on a common language (with our clients) and define parameters to better understand, discuss and evaluate music”

Karolina Namyslowski, Senior Creative & Team Lead at amp

An excerpt from the interview:

When music is used in a commercial, but also when algorithm-based music recommendations come in to play, the emotional effect of music becomes is more or less generalised. How subjective is music really and how do you measure the emotional effect of a song?

I agree! Music can create a deeply emotional and personal experience.

But there are parameters that can influence or steer the experience in specific directions. Let’s take a basic example:

We have a song with a dragging tempo and melancholy vocals. If we were to show the song to 100 people and survey them, only a fraction would consider the song driving, bright and uplifting. Of course there are unpredictable and personal factors, such as an individual’s past experience or past relationship with the song. However, the overwhelming consensus will always be that the song is “introverted” and “melancholic”.

We trust the expert-team at amp to track and define this relationship between musical parameters and their effect on the emotional listening experience. But we also regularly rely on market research (implicit, explicit and emotion-based) for our projects. An important element of our evaluation process is the AI-Testing Tool Veritonic. We use it to quickly and regularly test Sonic Assets along a set of standard attributes and give us an indication of Brand Fit, Uniqueness and Recall.

We don’t, however, use market research and AI tools as a replacement for creativity. All it does, is help us and our clients verify observations and decisions.

Continue reading here.

 


“I think the key to knowing or being familiar with a large musical repertoire is not shying away from certain genres or styles or artists”

Karolina Namyslowski
Senior Creative & Team Lead at amp

Find out more about her creative role at amp, her views towards new AI music tools, such as Cyanite, a mood-based song analysis tool, and how and if there is a place for AI in the world of Sonic Branding.


Karo's full interview is available at Cyanite.ai.

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