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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.

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.

amp Feature in Creativepool – How brands can make sure they’re heard in 2020 832 400 amp

amp Feature in Creativepool – How brands can make sure they’re heard in 2020

Open your ears to audio impact

 

Sound has the unique ability to break through clutter, evoke emotion and create unique human connections, making it an important asset for brands wanting to extend their reach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forecasting the 2020 audio trends, Creativepool published an article covering the significant movements in the sound industry that will be getting a lot of attention. In summary, amp's CEO & Founder, Michele Arnese, speaks about major steps that brands need to consider to be heard.

You can read the full article here.

amp Feature in Design Week – Why sonic branding is more than just the McDonald’s jingle 1024 576 amp

amp Feature in Design Week – Why sonic branding is more than just the McDonald’s jingle

music driven branding is the future

 

Brands have invested a lot in their visual identities - with excellent results. What comes beyond visual branding is transforming the brand to fits all touchpoints that come with digital development. Connected and screenless devices play a crucial role in it, which is why more and more brands realize the necessity of a holistic audio strategy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Asking a sonic branding agency if you just do sonic logos is like asking a visual agency if they only do business cards.”

_Michele Arnese, amp's CEO & Founder

Design Week covered a great story around sonic branding and featuring industry experts; they tried to unfold the secret behind successful sound branding. Also among the interviewees were amp's CEO & Founder, Michele Arnese, as well as amp's Global CMO, Uli Reese.


You can read their insightful comments in full here. 

amp Feature in Mediatel – Why we’re half-way to a world of audio branding 1024 544 amp

amp Feature in Mediatel – Why we’re half-way to a world of audio branding

Key things brands can do to ensure they're ready for the audio revolution.

 

Sound has always been a vital part of the brand experience, with numerous academic studies showing that brand engagement is far stronger when audio is treated as an equal and essential aspect of the brand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Brands must acknowledge the need for a 360 audio strategy which can stand on its own feet, instead of one that's just "nice to have" in a visual world."

_Michele Arnese, amp's CEO & Founder

In the latest thought leadership article covered by Mediatel Newsline you can find great insights from amp's CEO & Founder, Michele Arnese regarding a successful sound branding strategy.

Here some brief essentials that you need to consider:

  • Think long term - in order to future proof your brand.
  • Be original - avoid using pop songs for representation.
  • Work with experts - work with a partner that has the expertise required for the next frontier of consumer-brand experience.

You can find the full article here or contact us for more information.

amp Feature in The Daily Telegraph – the big business of corporate sounds 1024 683 amp

amp Feature in The Daily Telegraph – the big business of corporate sounds

Optimistic, catchy and brief: The big business of corporate sounds

 

Companies are increasingly trying to boost their brand experience and discovered that sound is an effective way of transmitting information implicitly to their customers and projecting personality and identity without explicitly vocalizing it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

"We are always inspired by the James Bond example. When you listen to Shirley Basey or Adele, you can close your eyes and instantly recognize James Bond. That is the power of sound DNA. Their music spans 50 years and are completely different styles, but you associate both with the Bond brand."

_Michele Arnese, amp's CEO & Founder

The Telegraph published a great thought leadership article covering the development of soundbranding, and opportunities it creates for businesses, in which amp's Founder and CEO, Michele Arnese was featured.

You can read the full article here.

amp Feature in Forbes – The World’s Best Sonic Brands 816 520 amp

amp Feature in Forbes – The World’s Best Sonic Brands

The World's Best Sonic Brands

 

Instead of creating unique sounds that fit the identity of the brand, many of today’s brands go for the licensing of currently popular music.


This approach results in being associated with the culture, instead of being the driving force of it. In his latest Interview for Forbes, amp’s Global CEO Michele Arnese spoke with Paul Armstrong about this issue and also discussed the Best Audio Brands Rankings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  “The future is about authenticity and committing to a unique and owned sonic identity.”

_Michele Arnese , amp's CEO & Founder

In short: our ranking revealed that many of the most recognizable brands in the world still have some betterment to do before they can be considered to have an efficient audio brand strategy.

McDonald’s and Disney were ranked as top performers in the Best Audio Brand Ranking, both achieving a score of 51/100 points available. Intel, Apple and Coca-Cola also scored well and made it into the top five audio brands, whilst the likes of Shell, Netflix, Nescafe, Google and Amazon made the top ten.

Out of the 100 brands covered in the 2019 ranking, only 22% were found to be using the sound effectively. Even among the top performing audio brands there is significant scope for improvement.

Brands should create reusable sonic assets that drive recognition at all touch points without neglecting the customer experience. Once the brand has defined how it should sound and has created a sound DNA, the development of specific sound elements, such as sound logo or unique soundscapes, can be planned according to the budget, time frame and most importantly according to the touch points. There are different approaches, depending on how big the brand is, but we could say that for smaller businesses the best possibility is a direct vertical approach, which has the highest reach and impact, while the bigger brands should aim to create a sonic ecosystem that incorporates all aspects of sonic identity and can be used crossfuntionally.

If you want to read Forbes coverage in full, please click here.

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