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Multi-sensory marketing: finding balance through self-care and sound

Nov 23, 2020
Some people say it’s a way of life, others a passing trend – either way, no one can argue that self-care is having a huge impact on how we live and consume today.

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Beauty and wellness is one of the main sectors to have benefited from self-care becoming a more mainstream conversation over the past five years, with many household names capitalising off the back of this popularised concept. But as the market continues to expand – alongside our understanding of self-care – brands are now being challenged to think in new, more holistic ways.

Sound plays a fundamental role in how we regulate our mood and reduce anxiety in everyday life – whether we’re falling asleep to ASMR, or putting on our favourite Spotify playlist – so when it comes to providing a more effective form of self-care (during a time we feel especially deserving of some TLC) engaging more of the senses… makes sense.

A sound investment:
Dove is one of the latest brands to explore the relationship between sonic marketing and self-care in their new campaign.

They partnered with audio-first creative consultancy Pandora to produce a Tropical Mood SoundEscape, inspired by – and to be enjoyed alongside – the scents of their latest Mango and Almond Butter collection.

The finished track features sounds of rainfall, bird song and soft drum beats that promise to whisk you away to the tropics midsoak – not only tapping in to the current desire for escapism, but delivering a multi-sensory experience that satisfies some part of that craving, and creates a deeper connection with consumers as a result. 
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An audio makeover:
Dove isn’t the only beauty brand to be exploring the science of sound for their main marketing strategy. Luxury cosmetics company Estee Lauder has placed audio at the centre of their latest campaign by joining forces with Spotify.

Users of this popular audio streaming platform can now request a free sample of Estee Lauder’s number-one beauty serum via their Google Home device – then tune in to an immersive ‘New Beginnings’ playlist that uses each listeners’ personal streaming history to curate the perfect backing track to their evening skincare ritual.

Each unique playlist is designed to feature short voice notes on the importance of a nightly skincare regime, as well as lowtempo songs that aid relaxation and help listeners unwind before bed, promising that ‘a refreshed tomorrow starts tonight’.

This particular campaign draws closely on the connection between sound and self-care, and is a clever example of how brands can continue delivering experiential marketing, even when stores are closed.

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The future of self-care:
The relationship between beauty and wellbeing is by no means a new revelation. Research has shown that long before 2020, people across the world have been experiencing increased levels of stress, and promoting self-care has been advocated as the antidote to modern-day burnout.

According to global market research firm, Mintel, we may start seeing beauty brands branch out into wider self-care activities as a result; activities that tap into the tech fatigue we’re feeling while staying connected from home, and that focus on providing more of a positive emotional experience – in the same way Dove and Estee Lauder did with their latest audio campaigns.

But it’s not just beauty brands that should be thinking about the importance of self-care. Businesses in just about every industry could benefit from refocusing their go-to strategies on what consumers really need right now. Engaging the senses – particularly through sound – is a proven way to lift spirits, and more often than not, it’s going to be the brands that have been mindful of this fact that go on to form longer, stronger relationships with their customers.