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    Taking the risk out of music

    Brands and bands have been bedfellows for generations, sometimes uncomfortably. We speak to Sarah Tinsley from our Heartbeats network to find out how we can de-risk working with music by applying a more rigorous insight and planning process.

    Download article (PDF).


    Japanese Muzak

    This store definitely takes Muzak to a new level. How did they analyze the music preferences of the target group? What brand values are being communicated? I can´t decide which one I love most.
    Can you?


    The mandarin song

    Everything deserves a song in Japan. Even the subway stations have their own unique melodies that are played when the train approaches (a ‘best-of’ CD was recently launched). You can also experience this in the supermarkets. There is a special banana song, fish song and tomato song played in the area of the store where the specific product is sold. On my recent trip to Okinawa I found this magnificent Mandarin song…


    The sounds of Tokyo - Japanese toilets

    Japanese people are much more sophisticated than us. You would not want to experience the embarrassment of the person next door hearing what you are up to, right? That is why the Japanese toilet has a built-in sound effect of water flushing. Smart, huh?


    The sounds of Tokyo (post #1)

    Sorry for the silence. We did some recordings of fun and interesting sound and music experiences this week in Tokyo. First out our own little pachinko experience. So is this the market place of tomorrow? How do you wake them up? More movies coming up this week.


    #4 EXCLUSIVITY (4Es of music branding)

    When in Tokyo I recommend a visit to a ‘Pachinko hall’. It’s a type of game hall with vending machines and a games called ‘Pachinko’. The sound wave when entering is shocking - your senses are literally bombarded by flashing lights, spinning wheels and hysteric techno music. What fascinates me is that the people don’t pay any attention to all the noise and flashing lights anymore but just sit quietly playing their game. They have become numb and have learnt how to screen out all the messages and focus on their interest.

    The Pachinko halls work as a metaphor for today’s market place. More and more brands compete for our attention but we pay less attention to them. Statistics show that more than 20 000 new brands are launched every year but only a few survive the two first years. Research tells us that we are confronted with more than 2500 advertising messages on a daily basis, but only remember around 8% of them. An ANC Nielsen study shows that we only remember in an average of two of the advertisements we’ve seen in a day.

    In a reality that increasingly resembles Tokyo, the need to differentiate your brand and take a unique and exclusive position in the mind of your audience is more important then ever. Sound and music here play a great role especially as a tool to create consistency in how the brand sounds on the different platforms of contact with the customer. A sonic identity can be created (an audio version of the graphic identity) that defines how the brand sounds and this is then activated as a sound logotype, in-store music program, presentations and hold music. In this way you can hold the customers’ attention also when they are not looking your way and create a more unique brand experience and exclusivity.

    There is of course a reason why Coca-cola has worked with sonic branding for more than 20 years, and everyone recognises McDonalds ‘Da da da da dah, I’m loving it‘. Research from Dr Adrian North of Leicester University shows that it’s working; brands with music in their brand identity are 96% more likely to be recalled then those without (or non-fitting music).


    Workshop at Eurobest, Amsterdam 25th Nov

    Be sure to check out this year’s European advertising festival Eurobest in Amsterdam 25-27 November. Many interesting speakers, seminars and people. Heartbeats International will host an exclusive workshop on the 25th, outlining the principles of music branding and the future to come. See you there?

    More details about the workshop: http://bit.ly/hbworkshop


    #2 ENGAGEMENT (4Es of music branding)

    boring_tv2People are sick of advertising. A recent conducted survey by the SIFO Institute showed that 75% of people actively avoid advertising, whether it’s on TV, Internet or radio. New technology has set the customer in charge of the remote control.

    In order to reach out to customers today you have to deserve their attention. To deserve their attention you need to engage them. If you engage them they will pass on your message, creating word-of-mouth which has always been marketing’s strongest tool (ranked as having seven times
    as much impact as traditional advertising).

    People love music. A survey from Millward Brown showed that music is the media that people would least like to live without (before Internet and TV). Another survey conducted by EMR (Entertainment Media Research) showed also that music is the main reason why people spend so much time on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Myspace. Music engages people in dialogue and conversation, whether it’s online or in ‘real life’.

    The reason why a market leader such as Coca-Cola puts music at the heart of its marketing mix is that they understand that music engages people, that marketing today is conversation, and that when music is free it is one of the most important social media to start-up and nourish conversations around the brand and its products. In this way they can create not only consumers but friends, and in the long run, true fans of the brand.