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  • Grayson Harris

The Impact of Audio Branding


By November of 2017, there were 32 national television spots featuring the song “Believer” by Imagine Dragons. This means that Imagine Dragons made several million dollars off of a single track. It also means that Americans were subjected to hearing a hook recorded by one of the most reviled pop rock groups of our day almost every time they turned on the television. This is a great example of bad audio branding.

So how is it possible that 32 different spots featured the same song by a band that Anthony Fantano once called an, “Awful amalgamation of ideas and aesthetics”? Simply put, the agencies behind the spots did not put as much care into the audio portion of their creative as they did with their copy and art direction.

Luckily, we are on the cusp of a new age of audio branding. Agencies like Antfood in NYC are creating fantastic proprietary music and sound design assets to help brands stand out from the pack. They have found that audiences will tune out an advertisement as soon as they hear a melody that they have heard before. Viewers will assume that it is the same spot from the same company that has been running for the last two years when in fact, it is just a One Republic song that sucks the life-force out of them.

So what spot do you see in your head when you read these lyrics?:

This is gonna be the best day of my life

My li-i-i-i-i-ife

This is gonna be the best day of my life

My li-i-i-i-i-ife

Is it a commercial from Ford, Hyundai, Lowe’s, Petron, or Lay’s? Maybe you’re fantasizing about cauterizing American Author’s vocalist Zac Barnett’s larynx. Either way, don’t let your brand blend in with all of the others. Find unique music to compliment your work and get a better reaction out of your target market. Or better yet, hire an expert.


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SWOOP | Student-Managed Advertising and PR Agency

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