• By Annie Hunt

So you want to build a sonic brand

After a brand refresh and the launch of a new logo, MasterCard announced another big change...sonic branding. While other companies in the past like Taco Bell and Intel have made their sound iconic, we have a feeling we’re going to see more and more brands addressing the need to build a strong sonic identity.

The growth of voice assistants in and out of the home, growing podcast audiences, radio’s continued mass-scale reach...the age of audio is here and adapting your brand is more important than ever. Is yours audio-friendly yet? According to a survey conducted by the Radio Advertising Bureau, 96% of advertisers plan to create a sonic identity for their brands.

Whether you are just starting to think about what your brand will sound like, or have a beloved jingle, radio needs to be a part of that strategy. In fact, 83% of advertisers agree that radio is the strongest media to establish a sonic brand.

Reaching over 90% of the U.S. population every week, the reach radio provides makes it extremely cost-effective. Plus, without the restrictions of high production costs and schedules, radio provides a unique platform for brands to get really creative. Here’s how your brand can make the most of radio advertising to boost that sonic identity.


Audio-first creative is designed specifically for audiences listening to audio platforms. Audio ads may be relatively less expensive to produce, but few media agencies are consistently tailoring their creative for different audio environments. TV commercials won’t work as audio scripts and radio ads won’t work for podcasts.

Put imaginations to work

The use of voiceovers, music, and sound effects work to stimulate emotion-filled images within the listener’s own imagination - called “theater of the mind.” Combined with the right copy,

these elements work together to create a memorable ad, without the aid of visuals.

Depending on your campaign goal there are a few tactics you can use to tap into this unique-to-audio phenomenon:

  • Get conversational

  • Tell a relatable story

  • Rely on humor

  • Add credibility with a testimonial

Follow best practices

Keep it simple, you only have 85 words for a :30 spot. The more information that’s included, the less the listener will remember. Get to the point succinctly by focusing on the key product benefits. With little time to waste, don’t forget to sell. Include a clear call to action along with a memorable, easy-to-spell URL.

Without visuals to rely on, context is everything. Make ads sound more personalized without getting too specific by changing creative. Use things like the daypart or day of the week to address the listeners’ state of mind, and cater your message accordingly.

Tie it all together

Complete the brand experience, while reinforcing recall with a sound logo. Acting as a ‘name tag,’ a strong audio signifier should be unique to your brand. Think of the instantly recognizable Netflix intro, a sound now synonymous with entertainment and relaxation. When used consistently in ad campaigns and adjacent to any content you produce or platforms you own, a sound logo can establish a lasting (and positive) association with your brand.

Related reading: Radio Science

We’re here to help too. Focusing on a client’s individual goals, we’ll identify the perfect content environment to make your audio creative shine. Get in touch for more details.

#radio #audio #ads #blog #audiobranding


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