Wednesday, October 17, 2012

come on feel the noize

Our thanks go to Tomas Czeszynski, over in Sweden - and a constant source of interesting behavioural nuggets - who pointed to an old post on the Branding Strategy Insider blog yesterday.

Controversial author Martin Lindstrom - remember? Love your iPhone, Literally - published a splendid article on Sensory branding, and the criminal lack of attention paid to the power of sound in advertising.

Lindstrom, this time talking sense, points out:

'There can be no doubt – sound is immensely powerful. And yet 83 per cent of all the advertising we’re exposed to on a daily basis (bearing in mind that the average person will see two million TV commercials in a single lifetime) focuses, almost exclusively, on the sense of sight. That leaves just 17 per cent for the remaining four senses.

Consider to what extent we rely on sound. It confirms almost all our digital and electronic connections. We rely on it to dial or text on our cell phones. Interestingly, the revenue from the slot machines in Las Vegas fell by 24 per cent when the whirring and tinkling sounds was removed. Furthermore, experiments conducted in restaurants show that when music slower than the rhythm of a heartbeat is played, we eat slower and we eat more!'

At the end of the post he also references some research his company conducted that produced three top ten lists of the most 'addictive' non-branded and branded sounds.

Unsurprisingly - from an evolutionary standpoint - baby noises top the chart, and from a cultural point of view, cash register sounds also figured highly in the overall combined chart.

How many times during creative development in advertising have you witnessed the scenario whereby the soundtrack or audio components are the last things selected?

Perhaps even some stock audio has been crow-barred in as a semi-afterthought?

Even if it's just a few it's too many.

Legend has it that Quentin Tarantino takes the audio route first and actually selects and plots the soundtracks for his movies before commencing the writing of the script.

The power of music and sound to evoke memories, feelings and emotional responses is undeniable, that's why it was one of our earliest pre-language forms of communication and continues to have the power to shape culture.

Indeed, everyone has a soundtrack to their lives.

Here's my soundtrack to the spring of 1973, a lanky brat running round smashing windows in Aberdeen with short trousers.

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