Sure, marketers use every tool that they can to entice their consumers to buy their products. But many times we are so focused on the visual that we forget just how much our ears dictate what we buy from TV, Radio, and Digital Media. Below I have a few popular brands that have iconic sounds associated with their sales campaigns. See how many you can “hear in your head” even though I give you only the most basic text example with no indication on tone or melody. How many can you hear in your mind?
AAMCO – Double A, (honk, honk) M C O
Taco Bell – Gong
Intel (what’s inside?) bum, Bum, bum, Bum
McDonalds – da, da, da, da, da… I’m loving it
T-Mobile – da da da DA da
Farmers Insurance – We are Farmers, da, da, da,da, da, da, da.
State Farm Insurance – Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there
Yahoo – Yahoo-o-o
Maybelline – Maybe she’s born with it, (Maybe it’s Maybelline)
NBC – N… B… C…
THX – An orchestra cacophony of sound to a resolution of sound
LG – Da da, Da da, Da da, ping
How about we try it the other way? See if you can name the brand by only listening to their sound.
Sounds can even draw attention from an audience on its way to get a snack during the biggest game of the year, even if the intent is to sound like something is wrong, like this Chevy Silverado Ad during the 2015 Super Bowl.
Musical Branding can influence how fast or slow some people shop (Iordanescu, 2010).
Some research has been done on how sound and music can map the brain to certain inherent human characteristics such as masculine/feminine, good/evil, however, more recent research even suggests that sounds can map other senses such as taste (Knoeferle, 2015). in other words, the next time you hear the McDonald’s “I’m loving it” music, it may affect how you actually taste their food! It’s one thing to have an actor say the words “can you hear me now?” for Verizon, but T-mobile’s pristine four-note melodic catchphrase may be doing more to your brain than any scripted words.
This next paragraph is for our GenX’ers and older (like me)… But what happens to the iconic sounds our past, or songs that are not being used anymore but have been burned into our memory like “The best part of waking up, is Folders in your cup” or “GE, we bring good things to life”? Sound conservationists rest easy, someone has thought of that. A man by the name of Brendan Chilcutt has created the Museum of Endangered Sounds found here:
Knoeferle, K. M., Woods, A., Käppler, F., & Spence, C. (2015). That sounds sweet: Using Cross‐Modal correspondences to communicate gustatory attributes. Psychology & Marketing, 32(1), 107-120. doi:10.1002/mar.20766
“Music in Advertising; Commercial Sounds in Media Communication and Other Settings.” 2010. Reference and Research Book News 25 (2).
Image used: http://www.aweita.pe/sites/default/files/4507-el_poder_de_la_musica.jpg
Iordanescu, L., Grabowecky, M., Franconeri, S., Theeuwes, J., & Suzuki, S. (2010). Characteristic sounds make you look at target objects more quickly. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 72(7), 1736-1741.
Sounds retrieved from http://www.moviesoundclips.net/