The 10 Most Addictive Sounds in the US?

Today I ran across an article by  Martin Lindstrom.

„The 10 Most Addictive Sounds in the World” shows again how important sound branding has become in today’s daily environment. Often sounds immediately influence what we do, but we don’t even think about it anymore. I guess nobody would doubt that.

Doubtful indeed is the way Lindstrom presents his “scientific” material in the fourth paragraph of this article. There should be more information about the mentioned study like year, selection criteria, and sample statistics. At least for those who would like to read more about this study there should be a reference link.

I understand that “The 10 Most Addictive Sounds of the World” were identified during a study with 50 individuals representing (apparently) the whole world (at least the world we know). You might call me a nitpicker, but there seems to be a flaw about that.

Anyway, it’s an interesting read peppered with scientific flaws. What do you think?


7 responses to “The 10 Most Addictive Sounds in the US?

  1. Pingback: Another wake up call for Brand Marketers « Sound Branding Blog

  2. Regarding this discussion:
    I want to contribute by the fact, that I have asked Martin Lindstrom why he doesn´t consider the Letterman Theme, The Wedding March, and Star Spangled Banner as branded sounds.
    TV sounddesigns are very powerfull and heavily branded, actually one of the craddles for soundbranding.

    Branded sounds are not a matter of money spend on marketing.
    The sounds and music of the churches and religions and the national anthems are branding in the natural way ! Feel free to contact me, cell: 0045 40 36 64 62
    Birgitte Rode

    Regarding Martin Lindstrom !
    I feel sorry on behalf of the soundbranding business and the good work of all the serious people in this business,
    In 2003 – 2005 we helped Martin Lindstrom to set up the BRANDsense Symposia, cases for his book BRANDsense, the BRANDsense DVD etc.

    But the fact is, that we have filed a the lawsuit against Martin Lindstrom for illegal copying, use and sale to third party of the BRANDsense sounddesign. The courtcase will take place in Copenhagen the 25.26. and 27. of May 2010.

    I find the soundstudies and self promotion of Martin Lindstrom extremely provoking by the fact that we have 112 promotion movies that Martin has produced for his brand flash video blog and released on 7 global websites, the fact that he is still selling the BRANDsense DVD after he recieved the lawsuit a year ago and the fact that he has used the sounddesign in his talkshows after the expiration of the contract.

    Martin Lindstrom recieved the lawsuit on the 24 th. of may 2009, and his contract with the right to the use of the sounddesign stopped by the end of april 2008. So Martin has had plenty of time to correct the illegal purposes, so this lawsuit could be avoided.

    I hope this courtcase will not harm our business potential, but we as sounddeigners need the payment for Martin Lindstroms use of our sounddesign.

  3. Birgit’s post underlines one crucial issue: clearing of copyrights and usage rights!
    This is one part of a successful Sound Branding project, however; often neglected by all parties involved.

  4. The key to understand what Martin does is the aim behind his publications. Is he aiming at presenting scientific research results or just getting media attention? No doubt, the latter is what he aims at. Whether a study is valid and reliable, he does not care – as long as he get’s media attention – and well-paid invitations to conferences and TV-shows.

    Closely related to this problem is another problem: Many journalists are not doing their job anymore! They do not check sources or ask for details anymore. They just copy & paste what the author provides them with (and maybe check for spelling errors).

    I give you an example: “Time” (!) quotes Lindstrom online as follows: “According to his studies, 83% of all forms of advertising principally engage only one of our senses: sight.” (,8816,1966467,00.html)

    A few years ago, I tried to find the original source of this data for a publication of mine. Result? I could not find it! One thing, however, I could find out. The data was first published a few decades ago. At maximum, Martin was in kindergarten then. A real genius, right? We know his Lego story – nice storytelling. He knows really well how to use the latest marketing tools. That’s all.

    The most scary thing about the above mentioned incident is that the same “quality press” Time Magazine selected Martin as one of the “World’s 100 Most Influential People”! I doubt this very much. They fell for the “No. 1 Self-Markting Guy in the World”. That’s all.

  5. P.S.: The above mentioned TIME article (,8816,1966467,00.html) was already put online in mid-February, even though the date says March 1, 2010. In addition, the article was first called “Now Hear This” on Feb. 19. When I looked it up on April 7, it was renamed “Neural Advertising: The Sounds We Can’t Resist”.

    Two things we can learn from this:
    (1) TIME changes dates to make articles appear more up-to-date.
    (2) TIME has a separate division optimizing online articles for search engines (after they have been put online).

    Now I start wondering how the came up with their list of the “World’s 100 Most Influential People”. I have some ideas. You, too?

  6. Dear Karl Heintz, I totally agree with you about the importance of legal aspects, but unfortunately I am very competent in these matters, and the contracts with Martin Lindstrom very properly taken care of. The work Brandsense is ordered by Martin Lindstrom. All legal issues in this case, including the masterrights, the mechanical rights, Nordic Copyright Bureau, and copyright, KODA is handled most professionally and signed by Martin Lindstrom personally the 27th of January 2004. Martin Lindstrom is perfectly aware of the sincere infringment of his actions. He paid the first bill from my company, NCB & KODA in 2005. Since then he has had a massive use of the work Brandsense in all aspects of his ‘Corporate Guru Identity :-)’ without paying. Have a great week-end and enjoy the spring. Birgitte

    • Dear Birigit,
      thanks for your feedback. I did not mean your specific case when reflecting the issue of copyrights and legal aspects (besides your are one of the professional sound branding consultants out there !); however, these issues pop up more and more and our job is to make brand marketers aware of this issue. Again, thanks for your input and please keep us posted!
      All the best
      Karlheinz (one word :)

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