Brands have used music to leverage their brand communication for years now. Nothing new. New is to integrate Sound Branding elements into a song. But let’s start from the beginning…
Coca Cola has been developing its international FIFA World Cup Celebration campaign around “Wavin’ Flag”, a track by Somalian-born Canadian-based hip hop artist K’naan. “Wavin’ Flag” was first released in March of 2009, but it was only once the Celebration Mix was released that it climbed up the international charts. The Celebration Mix, renamed “Waving Flag”, was rewritten and recorded several times in the build up to the FIFA World Cup, with bilingual versions featuring artists singing in Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, French, Greek, Naija, Chinese and Indonesian. The track has gone to number one on the charts in fifteen countries (according to Billboard.com).
Thanks to the feedback from Tim Noonan, voice branding expert from Australia, this definition has been improved:
Brand Voice is the voice that best reflects the ‘personality’ and brand values for a product, service or organisation. The most important aspects during the selection process of the brand voice are accent, gender, perceived age, tone, pitch, volume, rhythm and recognition value. Once a brand voice is chosen it is crucial to obtain exclusive usage rights, at least for your field of business, if not your brand voice could even harm your brand, particularly if the same voice is used for your competition, thus diluting or distorting your brand.
When selecting the Brand Voice the same voice should be considered for use across multiple channels associated with the brand, such as automated telephone services, advertising, instructional audio and of course within the product itself, if it is self-voicing.
The Old Spice TV ad “The man your man could smell like” has scooped this year’s Cannes Film Lions Grand Prix. Jury president Mark Tutssel described the ad as “the perfect film – it took an old sleeping brand and woke it up. Overnight it became a cultural phenomenon and captured the imagination of the planet.” The spot was released four months ago on the Old Spice you tube channel:
From a Sound Branding perspective it is an interesting case as Old Spice uses different Sound Branding elements. In the above commercial it is the “Ye ol’ classic whistle” at the end. In a different spot the “P..P..P..P…Power” Sound Branding element is integrated at the end of the commercial: