It is true: Attention is the buzzword in my advertising bubble in 2020. Fueled by a great book Dr. Karen Nelson-Field published this year, it is now trendy to talk about the Attention Economy. Myself, I wrote two articles on the topic, while conducting more research than ever on Attention for Mars. Attention is something every marketer agrees we ignored in recent years, but no one knows how to operationalize it. Attention helps in understanding people’s behaviors; it is personal and potentially significantly transformative for the media industry. But how can you grab Attention?
Out of the many ways you can harvest Attention, mastering the use of music, sounds, or sonic branding is one proven way of grabbing the much-needed Attention. Music and advertising go back a long way, Coke used “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing,” Cadbury used “In The Air Tonight” from Phil Collins and our very own Sheba took “Fever“ by Peggy Lee to a new level. In the era of TV advertising, music was complementing long forms of advertising, adding entertainment value to advertising.
In today’s cluttered advertising world (with secondary screen usage increasing and Attention to advertising fading), audio signaling is an important lever a marketer can pull to regain of the lost Attention. Research from TVision in the US found that changes in tonality, jingles, famous songs make people “watch the TV screen again” during ad-breaks. On mobile, depending on the advertising platform activated, sound can be less important (Facebook), rarely required (Twitter), or at the center of your execution (Tik Tok or YouTube). Audio has to be part of your communication strategy. We also hear lots of buzz about the growth of Voice technologies (aka Alexa) with potential future Audio-only social media platform, we live in the era of Podcasting expansion, and even Radio has a fresh revival. It’s timely to start thinking about building audio distinctive assets for your brand – sonic branding. Go beyond a famous song that generates short term buzz and reach, be consistent, aim to replicate what more successful pioneers did: Intel, Nokia, Schmackos, Pedigree, or Mastercard.
Sound will always be present in advertising in one shape or form, ensure you find your unique brand voice with sound.