The world is currently going through its own kind of sonic boom: Half of all searches are expected to be voice-enabled by the end of this year, podcasts and audiobooks are growing exponentially, and voice assistants comprise the fastest-growing technology since the smartphone.
In addition, consumers are starting to execute transactions via their voice devices. “One in three people already say that they’re ordering food deliveries, taxis, and groceries over their voice-enabled devices — and they’re open to more,” says Gregory Boosin, Executive VP of Global B2B and Production Marketing for Mastercard.
Boosin made his remarks Tuesday during a presentation entitled “Mastercard: The Process and Future of Sonic Branding,” a segment of the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) half-day webinar “The State of Audio Today.”
His central message for marketers: the sonic component of your messaging is crucial.
“Unique sonic branding creates brand recall and solidifies this element of branding into your repertoire,” he says. “If you’re not thinking about this, you ought to be.”
Boosin demonstrated the power of sonic branding by playing a series of video clips from Hollywood-produced “James Bond” movies. While the actual clips themselves spanned many years — from pictures starring Sean Connery in the 1960s to 21st-century offerings headlined by Daniel Craig — the audio themes used across the decades still give the entire brand a unique cohesiveness, in addition to holding the power to connect with a listener, often without the utterance of a single word.
“Whether you’re talking about action scenes, or villain scenes or vocals, there’s that common sense of James Bond,” Boosin said. “You could be in another room and it’s on the TV, and you know it’s a Bond film… and you probably just blew the next two hours of your life, because you’re gonna sit down and watch it.”
Boosin also demonstrated how similar dynamics are at play in a Coca-Cola TV commercial, which, despite being visual in nature, taps other human senses (like taste) by employing the sounds of a cap being popped off a bottle, the clinking of ice cubes in a glass, and the familiar fizzle made by the carbonated beverage as it’s poured over the ice.
“In a world of declining attention, sonic branding is becoming an integral part of brand identity,” Boosin explained. “Even more so than it was before… Through unique sounds, all of our brands can strengthen their differentiation, their image, and their identity — and most importantly, their emotional connection and sense of belonging among consumers. You can close your eyes, but you cannot close your ears.”