Tag Archives: marketing

great minds on music : an interview with josh rabinowitz

In this edition of our “Great Minds on Music” series, we’re picking the brain of Josh Rabinowitz, Senior Vice President/Director of Music for the Grey Group. “Great Minds on Music” is a series of conversations with some of the top names in the business of advertising and Uli Reese, President of iV2. If you’d like to read more from these innovative thinkers, selecting this link will aggregate all the interviews for easy viewing.

GREAT MINDS ON MUSIC: AN INTERVIEW WITH JOSH RABINOWITZ

Reese: I like to use these interviews to address a question that I think many brands and agencies ask, though the answer seems elusive. It’s this: can the right choice of music by a brand change consumer behavior?

Rabinowitz: I think it can. Science proves that sound, and particularly music, stays with us longer than anything else. If you think about jingles, they plant seeds in your brain that are difficult to remove – they lock themselves in there. Whereas with images and concepts, it’s more fleeting. They can have an effect, but it’s shorter term.

“…the problem is that music isn’t often done right when it comes to branding. There have been very few effective executions over the years…Unfortunately, what happens is that somebody finds a piece of music they think is cool, they put it on [the spot], and often it overshadows the concept.” – Josh Rabinowitz

Reese: I always say we’re in the “remembering business.” But do you think a music can help us love a brand more? It seems we don’t buy brands because they’re better or cheaper, we buy them because we fall in love with them. Can we accomplish that with music?

Rabinowitz: If it’s done right…the problem is that music isn’t often done right when it comes to branding. There have been very few effective executions over the years. But memory is an important part of our behavior, so you can definitely use it to plant ideas inside people. It reminds me of the movie Inception, which is about planting ideas in peoples’ minds. I think music is able to do that. And if it’s done right, there can be a lot of love. Unfortunately, what happens is that somebody finds a piece of music they think is cool, they put it on [the spot], and often it overshadows the concept.

Reese: But when is it done right? Continue reading

great minds on music: an interview with nick law

It all began as a simple idea: sitting down face-to-face with some of the best minds in the world of advertising, asking for their perspectives on the relationship of music and sound to brands and marketing.

“I don’t think many companies are using sound in as sophisticated of a way as they could be.” – Nick Law

So, armed with a laptop and a digital recorder, Uli Reese, President of iV2, traveled the world in pursuit of some of the top names in the business of advertising. Two years and dozens of interviews later, we’ve edited and compiled his conversations with these innovative thinkers into a series we’ve dubbed “Great Minds on Music.”

GREAT MINDS ON MUSIC: AN INTERVIEW WITH NICK LAW

Reese: How important is sound to a brand?

Law: I think sound is important, and music is important in certain contexts. When I grew up in the advertising industry, before the networked age, it was easy for creative directors to have abstract maxims that rang true. The classic was “less is more.” If you’re creating a piece of print communication, or even a thirty second spot, that’s sort of true: you want people to walk away from that communication with a very concise idea or feeling. But that’s not the only way marketers work today. Another one of the maxims we hear from advertisers, mainly because the industry for many years was driven by 30 second TV spots, is: “It’s all about storytelling.” But now we have media that aren’t just about storytelling, but about frameworks of behavior. I’m holding an iPhone here, and when I turn it on and off it makes a very specific sound. Same when I send an email. There’s an audio layer to this brand that has nothing to do with storytelling and everything to do making functionality apparent. It serves not just to make me feel something about the brand, but to make me understand how the brand is behaving.
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great minds on music: an interview with amir kassaei

Here at iV, we like to say that we live at the “intersection of sound and marketing.” We’re committed to helping brands and agencies communicate brand identities, increasing awareness and equity as they harness the power of sound. As audio branding professionals, we’re constantly working to improve the strategy, execution and measurement services we offer.

Our continual pursuit of knowledge on the subjects of audio and branding sparked an idea: what if we interviewed some of the best minds in the world of advertising, asking for their perspectives on the relationship of music and sound to brands and marketing?

It’s not about the right sound or the right piece of music. It’s about the strategic question “What should my brand sound like?” – Amir Kassaei

To that end, Uli Reese, President of iV2, set off with a laptop and a digital recorder, traveling the world in pursuit of some of the top names in the business of advertising. Two years and dozens of interviews later, we’ve edited and compiled his conversations with these innovative thinkers.

While a book is in the works, we thought the content was far too relevant to keep under wraps any longer. We’ll be releasing portions of these interviews here on our blog. Since these posts will be part of an ongoing series, please make sure you’ve subscribed to the blog – or follow us on facebook and twitter.

We want to thank everyone who shared their insights and ideas so freely with us. There’s much to be learned in the sharing of your stories. So without further adieu, here’s our first installment in our “Great Minds On Music” series, featuring DDB Worldwide Chief Creative Officer, Amir Kassaei. Enjoy!

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tooting our own audio branding horn…

Typically, we steer away from talking too much about the work iV is doing to change the conversation about audio branding. From the use of social media like this blog, twitter and facebook to more personal approaches like iV academy and speaking engagements, we do our best to share our passion and knowledge about audio branding with the rest of the world.

Recently, advertising information resource sourceEcreative turned their spotlight on iV. In a special feature on music and sound, Anthony Vagnoni does a wonderful job of capturing our story. So wonderful, in fact, that we wanted to share it with you.

Thanks, as always, for listening!

oh, the places you’ll hear: the use of audio in destination branding

Over the last few years, there has been a growing interest in “destination branding” (called “community branding” in some instances) as communities, cities, states and even countries seek competitive advantages to attract tourists, talent, jobs and funding.

In practice, branding a place isn’t much different than branding a product. Those who specialize in destination branding work to understand the unique assets and values of a community “brand” and then create a strategy designed to build awareness and equity for that brand.

Product sound (or in this case, “place” sound) is certainly the domain of audio branding

As audio branding strategists, we’re always attempting to think outside the (boom)box. Which is probably why we find the idea of applying principles of strategic audio branding to the destination branding model an interesting proposition. Continue reading

audio branding ROI : there’s no app for that…

A survey conducted in 2008 by Heartbeats International revealed that of the 70 managers of global brands participating, 97% thought that music could strengthen their brand. In the same survey, when asked if music were an important tool for building a consistent and unique brand, 68% of the respondents answered in the affirmative.

Only 4 out of 10
brands have actually
identified how their
brand sounds. Only
2 out of 10 have
any type of audio logo.

But even with an overwhelming consensus that sound (in this case, music) in a branding context is perceived to be extremely valuable, the same survey found that only 4 out of 10 brands have actually identified how their brand sounds. Only 2 out of 10 have any type of audio logo.

Quite a discrepancy between “beliefs” and “actions.” Continue reading

audio branding: a discipline

Recently, a graduate student in pursuit of her Ph.D. in Psychology of Music contacted me for an interview. As we spoke, I referred to the development of audio branding as a “discipline.” When we circled back around for more questions, Alison inquired about my choice of words.

We are understanding more and more the importance of “using our heads” – looking to science to help us move towards more predictable results from the sonic connections we seek to make between brands and brand users.

“What do you mean by ‘discipline’?” she asked.

I replied that, from my perspective, the development of audio branding over the last ten years resembles the evolution of Psychology. Originally the domain of philosophers, Psychology would eventually come into its own as an accepted “discipline” – a branch of instruction and learning with clearly defined systems, paradigms and best practices.

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life’s for audio branding

In my previous blog post, I presented an example of what can happen when you fail to consider the sonic space your brand occupies.

Telekom connects the sonic dots with an integrated strategy that serves as a good case study of audio branding best practices.

So what about an example of audio branding “done right?”

Recently, Telekom (the German equivalent of T-mobile) launched a new campaign for the German market: “Million Voices (7 seconds).” Telekom connects the sonic dots with an integrated strategy that serves as a good case study of audio branding best practices: enhancing equity, fostering customer engagement, integrating a variety of sonic touchpoints, aligning with brand values and conveying authenticity.

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sorry. i can’t hear you over my sunchips bag.

SunChips has been in the news this week. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been because consumers have been raving about their taste.

The Frito Lay brand of multi-grain chips has gone to great lengths to foster a brand image that reflects a commitment to a “healthier you” and a “healthier planet.” They’re manufactured at a solar powered plant in Modesto, California. They’re made with less salt and tout zero grams of trans-fat. The SunChips website and packaging reflect a color palate of warm yellows, sky blues and earthy greens. And in a move to be even more eco-friendly, the chips were recently repacked in 100% compostable bags.

Obviously, a great deal of attention was given to details that are designed to reflect the brand values consistently across a number of consumer touchpoints. But at the moment, consumers don’t associate SunChips with anything that they see or taste.

They associate SunChips with what they hear.

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audio branding : everybody’s doin’ it (part one)

Experiential marketing strategies operate from the premise that a brand is defined by the experiences associated with it. With all the experiential touchpoints available to engage consumers in today’s marketplace, managing a brand can involve an increasingly dizzying array of possibilities and pitfalls. Marketers realize more than ever the importance of making careful, intentional choices as they develop and manage their precious brand assets.

Whether we realize it or not, every sound that touches a brand has the potential to define and communicate that brand’s attributes.

From where I sit, one of those intentional choices should be a focus on how a brand sounds. Whether we realize it or not, every sound that touches a brand has the potential to define and communicate that brand’s attributes. We select a piece of music to provide the soundtrack to a brand commercial. We choose a voice to read a script. We create sound design that adds to the atmosphere around the brand. And in the end, every music bed, every song, every voiceover, every sound associated with an experience of the brand is, at some level, contributing to its audio branding.

And that brings me to the point of this post: when it comes to audio branding, everybody’s doing it.

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