Sound: leading the senses

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Oct 13, 2017 - Twentieth Century Fox blockbuster without the thunderous B flat fanfare. ... to become the third biggest advertiser in the world after Google and.

Sound: leading the senses October 13, 2017

A recent article from leading marketing oracle Campaign explains how more and more companies are opening their ears to the potential of sound – and we were compelled to take a closer look. Recently, Campaign delved into recent audio industry statistics which places sound at the forefront of our senses. According to research, our brains take around 500 milliseconds to react to taste and smell; 189 to sight; 149 to touch; and only 146 milliseconds for sound. In fact, the disparity between reactions to sight and sound is so distinct in the brain that horror-films place audio after the visuals, so as to not give the game away too soon. We’re well and truly wired for sound – and almost everything we do is punctuated by audio or music. This prevalence for sound is something businesses can’t ignore, and appliance manufacturer AEG has embraced this in their product development. With the arrival of touch, you could assume fridges, ovens and microwaves would fall silent, but as consumers, we need the click of a dial or the beep of a button to help us learn how to use them – and wholeheartedly adopt these products into our lives. AEG appointed a team dedicated to perfecting the sound of their dials so they get exactly the right sort of click for their customer. This approach also applies for brands creating video content, as visuals carry much more meaning when accompanied by sound than with just images alone. Speaking to Campaign, composer Joel Beckerman exemplifies this using the BBC news theme, stating how the rhythm, trumpets and scale all work to strengthen the feelings of urgency and importance associated with a bulletin. But the same additional meaning can be heard in any piece of video – simply imagine the classic Levis Laundrette ad without the sultry backing of ‘Heard It Through the Grapevine’, or the intro to a Twentieth Century Fox blockbuster without the thunderous B flat fanfare.

With such strong expectations and reactions towards sounds, it’s clear why advertisers want to make the most of the medium – and Spotify in particular are really capitalising on this value. In a lucrative new move, they’re giving traditional audio ad slots to thousands of businesses, creating targeted ads based on the type of music consumers are listening to, and introducing branded playlists and sponsored concerts. By bringing in these new methods of promotion, they’re aiming to become the third biggest advertiser in the world after Google and Facebook – and with such a strong listening audience, they have a chance of competing. Just as Spotify is connecting with their listeners through audio, thousands of companies are doing the same with audio branding. Productions played to callers while they wait on-hold harness the potential of music, voice and script to showcase their unique identity to callers. And as we’re so quick to react to sound, the 33-second average hold time is a prime period for listeners to act on the information they hear. Whether we’re turning on the news, cooking our dinner or waiting on hold, sound is a constant part of our daily lives – so its power to connect with consumers is limitless.

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