“Sonic branding” sounds like a complex concept, and it is a relatively unexplored aspect of the PR/marketing world–but it surrounds us every day. Think about sounds or jingles that you associate with brands: surely you’re familiar with this one or this one or this one. You might even remember this one.
That’s sonic branding in action.
The power of music and sound transcends language, culture and all things visual, which makes sonic branding a huge part of the promotional game for many companies. For example, anyone anywhere in the world can hear the simple tune “I’m Lovin’ It” and instantly think of McDonald’s (in fact, Justin Timberlake wrote a track around the original five-note jingle). The process of “distilling a multimillion dollar brand into a few seconds of sound” can be long and challenging, but it pays off–sonic branding signatures can be more recognizable than company logos or spokespeople.
How can sound help an established company rebrand itself? Here’s a great case study: Univision, one of the biggest names in Spanish-language news and entertainment, recently chose Man Made Music as its sonic branding agency of record in an attempt to establish a fresh image. Here’s the final product, a reworking of the network logo spot: