Sonic Identity & Audio - Your Brand's Superpower
Updated: Jul 4
Scroll... Tap... Swipe...
... and then you scroll some more. Our eyes and our attention is tethered to these small and large screens equally. Which is why we can spend hours on Tiktok, Instagram Reels, or just binge watch television series, season after season. No wonder, from frustrated parents to tired professionals, we all just want to give our eyes a long needed break.
What happens when you close your eyes and just listen? You engage... You connect deeply. As you ease into the intro or the voice of your favourite podcast host, or just listen to a sweet jazz riff playing, audio cuts straight to the emotion and makes you, the listener, open your heart and mind to this medium that is as old as time itself.
This 'new normal'
There's no medium that has adapted to this new normal better than audio. It is no accident that audio has quickly gained traction and that audio listening and ad spend are ever increasing when it comes to audio. The powerful trio, OTA (Over the Air) Audio, podcasts, digital audio are now delivering what both consumers and marketers have long been craving: a more meaningful connection.
Research shows that audio spurs more emotions than any other medium, and in the age of measurement, real-time insights and analytics, audio has become an integral part of any advertisers arsenal.
Audio ad spend rose 10.4% in 2020 compared to 2019. Podcast spending will hit a fantastic $1 billion in 2021.
And why is this sudden shift happening? It's simple, audio has kept all the emotion and impact it’s always had while adding measurability and versatility that match the moment.
Let's turn up the volume!
2020, we all had our entire lives and routines shifted around, and this led to some very definitive and permanent disruptions in our day to day lives. People stuck at home started spending more time listening to podcasts and personalized music. Your favorite playlists and podcasts became as essential to you as masks and sanitizers. One thing is certain, audio will be a permanent solace for the lot of us, just as it has been for the past century, but now audio finally has taken center stage. We know the genres we like more evocatively, the styles and the variations. We know why we like that particular artist because they either pump up our moods during those downer phases, or they just enable us to get in a relaxed state of mind after a long day at work.
Screenless finally is catching up
If you dread your next Zoom meeting, you're not alone. Screen fatigue is real, but we are yet craving content that we can enjoy without being locked in and tiring our eyes. That's the great thing about audio; it moves with you wherever you go. Think about it- you could be driving the car, walking the dog, or doing grocery shopping, but with a trusted pair of earbuds, your choice of audio moves along with you. But even though you're on the move, it means that your full attention is on the audio. Emotions are evoked - you're yet intently listening. That's the beauty of audio. It's a beautiful medium that you can multitask effectively with. Audio just gets you in the right mood, regardless of where you are at mentally.
The heart and the brain are biologically connected. Neuroscience helps us determine how people respond to content and stimuli by measuring variations in heart rate. This measure of engagement is called immersion. And studies show that the more someone is immersed in content, the more they will recall and take action.
Meeting Consumers at the moments that matter
Immersion is a blend of attention and emotional connection. That’s why the power trio of integrated audio is driving immersive experiences, beating out even TV and social media. Audio can evoke the right emotions, pique our interest, and stop us in our tracks (or in our driveways) with deeply connected and quite often emotional experiences.
Brand awareness ads in podcasts jumped from 25% in 2016 to 45% in 2020.
Talking is the new clickety click
While audio consumption is on the rise, so is voice. We now can control our doors, amplifiers, lights, computers and even our phones with voice instructions. And more so, now brands can even talk back to us. Voice assistants that used to just play music or deliver the weather now offer interactive brand-to-consumer experiences. Brands are embracing the speaker-as-touchpoint phenomenon, adding voice-triggered ads to their audio campaigns. That paves the way for some amazing new opportunities with shoppable sonic interactions.
Your bottom line
Sonic branding tends to stir up emotions, and if crafted correctly, can lead to brand associations that are meaningful and impactful to the end consumer. In a world of visual chaos, audio is a 'breath of fresh air'. It is the place brands need to be, to enable them to stand out from the noise.
Audio is trusted above all other media - more than TV, more than social media, and even more than Google...