Subliminal sounds that strike a chord

Subliminal sounds that strike a chord

Jan 15, 2019
Visually, it’s clear more and more businesses are fighting to stand out from the crowd. Giant billboards, TV advertisements and snappy slogans flood the eyes day-in, day-out. But listen closely and you’ll discover there’s also a brand battle emerging in the airwaves, with each company fighting to get their own unique voice heard. 

Subliminal sounds that strike a chord

Chances are, when you hear a lion’s roar, you’re not thinking about the ferocious beasts of Africa – instead, the popcorn is ready and your film is just about to start. Leo, Slats, Jackie, Telly and George – there’s been a number of wild cats over the years – but they’ve all roared to strengthen Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s brand identity. MGM has had to show lion-like persistence to sound-mark the roar in both the US and Canada – the result is an almighty rumble and cinematic outcry of memorable marketing material.
 
For American brand Zippo, the trick lies in their lighter’s ‘click’ – a hugely distinctive sound that’s instantly identifiable, sparking a connection with audiences across the world. The key to making this sound ‘click’ with consumers is repetition and recognition. In a survey of 1,000 adults, 70% of participants stated that familiar sounds, such as the Zippo Click, instigate a positive emotional response, thus explaining why Zippo trademarked the sound in December, 2018.

Subliminal sounds - Zippo

Some of our most powerful memories are triggered by sound, and it all comes down to association. Think about an idea – a creative and vague notion you’d struggle to define – yet a light bulb instantly springs to mind. The link has been present since the 19th century, so it’s no surprise electronic giants Philips consolidated their brand identity through the sound of light bulbs. 

The multinational tech giant took inspiration from the idea that this simple item represents ideas and imagination – and acts as an icon of Philips’ design, heritage and excellence. Developing their own distinct light bulb sound, they successfully created original yet consistent compositions across every platform – in much the same way as we compose unique Brand-Sound-Tracks™ that represent the unique qualities of our clients. 

Through all sectors and walks of life, brands are reinforcing their identity through the power of sound. Radio, smart speakers, podcasts, ad breaks, callers on-hold – it’s never been easier to strike a familiar chord with the audience.