Tag Archives: music

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

sound knowledge: an audio branding reading list

When it comes to harnessing the power of sound, a working knowledge of the fundamentals of audio science and design is vital. An aptitude for composition/production certainly yields creative results, but it’s only one part of the audio branding equation. Research is necessary to balance out our instincts with demonstrable facts, helping us shape the creation of audio assets and manage their implementation as well.

Fortunately, there’s a wealth of information available. New studies are continually being published in academic journals and agency/brand white papers. Emerging technologies offer new audio touch points for brands to explore. Keeping up on the latest trends and best practices in our discipline is a full time job!

If you’re interested in the latest news, you might want to follow our iV audio branding daily and our audio branding scoop.it page where we’re constantly curating new content relevant to the industry.

Additionally, we thought it might be helpful to supply you with a “must read” list – a bibliography for the serious audio branding enthusiast. So we went to our book shelves and pulled what we thought were a few of the essential titles of the moment. We’ve listed them for you here, with easy amazon links (just select the title) and a short description. There’s a wide variety of thought represented here – everything from branding to neuromarketing to the role of silence in a noisy world.

We offer these with hopes that they’ll expand your knowledge – and with it allow for more informed discussions. If there’s a work that’s been influential in your approach to audio branding that we’ve not included in our list, feel free to leave a comment and let us know. We always enjoy adding to our library.

Happy reading!

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great minds on music : an interview with tom o’keefe

In this edition of our “Great Minds on Music” series, Uli Reese, President of iV2, catches up with Tom O’Keefe, Draftfcb Executive Creative Director, North America, at his office in Chicago. “Great Minds on Music” is a collection of interviews with some of the top names in the advertising industry, engaging them in conversations about music, audio and advertising.  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 TOM O’KEEFE

Reese: What role does music play in your work as an advertising agency?  How important is it?

“…no matter how well you write a piece of dialog, or how well the visual elements come together, I think music is the thing that moves you the most” – Tom O’Keefe

O’Keefe: I think you can’t separate music from what we do as advertisers or as an agency. It’s always been part of the emotional context of a brand. It’s there to tap into your feelings – and hopefully get you to like a brand more because you’re affected by the music, whether you’re aware of that or not. There are times when you hear something and you’re like, “I love that music!” And other times where you’re not consciously aware of it, but it still moves you in a certain way. There was a classic era of jingles that stuck in your head, then we moved to an era where music is now probably more original, or at least about associating known songs, with brands. Now I’m hearing a lot about audio mnemonics and audio signatures and discussion about what brands sound like. Maybe that’s because the ubiquity of communication means you’ve got to be that much clearer about what your sound is.

Reese:  Can you talk a little bit about your process? When you’re creating a campaign, when and how does the music fit into the process?

O’Keefe: I think it should be from the start.  And unfortunately too often it’s looked at as an afterthought. You’ve gone through the idea, you’ve gone through some of the production process and then it’s suddenly: “Well, what’s the music going to be?” When really, music should be there from the beginning, because it helps you clarify the brand’s voice. I’ve done campaigns where music has been the driver from the beginning.  In fact, I’ve done the classic “when you don’t know what to say, sing it.” But even then we had to find the right vibe for the brand. I’m thinking of one in particular for amazon.com, about ten years ago, called “The Sweater Men.” And they were singing the strategy, OK?  They were singing prices and sales and deliveries and toys and inventory. It was self-effacing, it had a sense of humor, it had this kind of quirky retro kind of a vibe and this was all a reflection of Amazon’s brand at the time.

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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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two’s company. three’s a crowdsource : a look at audio branding through the crowdsourcing lens

Crowdsourcing has come along way since Jeff Howe coined the term in a 2006 Wired magazine article. It has grown from a problem solving technique to a bona fide business model, forming the foundation for a new breed of service providers who use the power of the internet to benefit from the creativity offered by a hive mind.

Crowdsourced audio assets may be part of an overall strategy. Brands should remember, though, that the goal isn’t to be part of the crowd – but to stand out from it.

The underlying assumption behind crowdsourcing is that by tapping into a virtually limitless pool of creativity, experience and diversity, brands can benefit from a wide variety of creative solutions often at a fraction of the traditional costs. Additionally,when run as an open competition, crowdsourcing offers an opportunity to create brand ambassadors and increase brand awareness by engaging consumers and fans in the act of directly shaping brand identity.
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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!

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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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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