3 Reasons Why The Right Sound Made Levi’s A Global Phenomenon

Back in the 80s, Levi’s was in trouble. They were looked at as a jean brand worn by “fuddy duddies”, aka, older dads. While they wanted the youth to choose their product, they were being overshadowed by the likes of GAP and Lee. So they needed to do something big and drastic.

 Enter, Sir John Hegarty.

The man who gave millions around the world the perfect soundtrack to listen to while putting their jeans on. The slow, grungy and almost sexy tune that blew the world away and made the brand a cultural phenomenon, with youngsters all over the world swearing by Levi’s as their preferred jeans brand. So, what did they do right? 

Here are 3 things

Point 1: Used The Right Song To Elevate The Message Of The Campaign

The 1980s witnessed a tectonic shift in global culture. It was the new era of reinventing music, films and ads, that completely broke away from tradition and societal norms. A legacy brand like Levi’s however, were seriously hit. 

So, when Sir John Hegarty wrote the ad campaign for Laundrette, he used Marvin Gaye’s “Grapevine” as a tool to communicate the underlying message of the campaign. And why did it work? “It appealed to a whole new generation with a song that “spoke” to them. “Grapevine” was the first of four Levi’s-related songs to all make the Top Ten Billboard, a feat that made advertisers realise that choosing the right music was of paramount importance because it really helped push a product on TV”, said Sir John Hegarty.

Point 2: Contextualised The Song’s Message To Evoke A Strong Emotion

The effects of the Levi’s 501 campaign was instant. Coupled with the beautiful Nick Kamen, the campaign’s hero, and the vibe of the song, the ad spoke to the new Gen-Y audience in an aspirational, cool and new way. “It was like magic that defined a generation,” said Sir John Hegarty. Even though the song was a Motown classic, it was re-energized to speak to a younger audience, which gave it a larger appeal

Point 3: Integrated The Use Of Sound To Create A Definite Action

“For me it was about creating a sense of empowerment. Back then I was at the right age to know that buying a pair of jeans was expensive, but I also knew what it meant to buy it. It meant you were cool, original and one of those rebels . The attitude was original. So for me I wanted them to feel that it was accessible enough to buy at least one pair.”, said Sir John Hegarty. So, using the right sound was critical in achieving that.

Watch the entire episode with Sir John Hegarty where he reveals even more truths behind getting the right sound for your brand here: https://lnkd.in/dPsafyNC

Reference Links

BrandMusiq LABS presents 4 Pearls Of ‘Sound Intel’ by Walter Werzowa

What’s the sound you associate Intel with? Chances are, you’re thinking about the ‘bong-bong bong-bong’ sound. Known as the ‘Intel Bong’, this carefully engineered sound was created to tell the story of the brand within 3 seconds. Since then, it’s become one of most significant mnemonics we associate the brand with today. 

Is this pure luck? Or is there science behind it?

Walter Werzowa, creator of the Intel Bong and founder of The MusicMedicine Consultancy Gmbh, believes that creativity, like any other subject, has a process, logic and purpose behind it. And if understood and harnessed well, is capable of influencing an entire generation of culture. In the first episode of BrandMusiq LABS he shares 4 pieces of ‘intel’ on creating a powerful sonic asset for brands.

Lesson 1: Embrace the Magic Of AI

‘For those starting their career in the audio and sound industry, it can seem overwhelming to create the right sound for brands. But the key is to capture brand emotion with the power of AI (artificial intelligence), which offers a plethora of opportunities to harness. The beauty of AI is that it can perform complex tasks easily, providing a whole new world of creating an audio experience. Oftentimes, when junior audio and sound engineers struggle, I remind them that creativity is a process that needs time, purpose and consistency to produce something beautiful’.

Lesson 2: Tell A Powerful Story In 3 Seconds

‘When Intel asked me to communicate their brand story in 3 seconds, I laughed. But shortly, I realised the huge challenge ahead of me. The one question I kept thinking was, “How do I communicate Intel’s brand story in 3 seconds?”. And the answer was their brand essence. As a technology pioneer, they’re precise, consistent, and almost Germanic in their approach. So it was essential that their sound reflected and communicated that’. 

Lesson 3: Everyday, ISN’T Inspiration Day

‘In the last 20 years in this industry, I’ve realised that society and school don’t train us to be creative. They train us to be logical and repetitive. And most creative professionals hinge on ‘inspiration striking’ rather than creating it. So, they often feel burnt out and uninspired when they don’t get the next BIG idea. Just like a melody is built with many purposeful layers, creativity too needs the same environment’. 

Lesson 4: Audio Personalisation Is The Key To Building A Stronger Brand

‘Picture this. You are at a sports store, and are surrounded by the entire sonic experience of being in a sports environment. Right from the time you enter, each touchpoint is a curated earpoint, which you interact with to purchase your favourite shoe. But really, you’re not just buying a shoe, but getting immersed into a world of unparalleled customer experience’. 

Uncover more such pieces of wisdom on BrandMusiq LABS episode with Walter Werzowa. Watch the episode here: https://lnkd.in/dfAh-RPx

“Use Music To Elevate Your Message” A Sir John Hegarty Exclusive Interview with Subash Kamath

Sir John Hegarty, is known as one of the ‘greatest admen in the 21st century’. As one of the founders of BBH agency (Bartle Bogle Hegarty), he’s created some of the world’s most inspiring and powerful ads. He’s had a career that spans over six decades and work includes, but isn’t just restricted to, iconic campaigns for Levi’s, Audi and Heineken. CEO of Publicis India, Subash Kamath sits down for an exclusive interview with Sir John Hegarty, where he talks about the importance of using the right music for your brand message. Some excerpts below

On why music is an important factor in enhancing brand experience…

For me, music is a great way of elevating the message away from advertising jingles. And I wanted to use real music and not imitate it or change the words in it. It’s a powerful force that speaks to people in a cultural way. It connects them to the MESSAGE in a way which was not only powerful, but was also culturally relevant. It had a cultural meaning to it.

On what the process was like to create powerful music for ads…

So, when I tell people how old I actually am, I get reactions like, “Oh God this man’s ancient”! (laughs). But yes, I did grow up watching the rise and fall and rise again of rock and roll. So, when we got to do these ads in the mid 80s, rock and roll and modern music didn’t have a history. People didn’t go back and learn from what had gone before, and how it could inform tomorrow. So what we were doing with that music was we were rediscovering it for a young audience. This, (I Heard It Through The Grapevine) was such a powerful track. So, when I wrote the script, the director didn’t think it was going to work. But when you’re making an (ad) film and you’re looking for music for that film, this is a VERY important lesson. Film has rhythm. And you’ve got to find the music that fits the rhythm of the film.

On creating a good ad with music today…

Here’s the thing. I don’t like advertising. I’ve always tried to not create advertising. Because I think 95% of it is boring, cliched, dull and an insult to people’s intelligence.

The reason I love film, is you never know. You know you write a script thinking, this is gonna to be great. And then you make it and go, Oh?! I don’t know what happened. So, what I wanted to do was create advertising that’s more like film. So, I didn’t look at other ads as competitors. I looked to movies as my competitor. I looked to great television programmes as my competitor. So I always approach it like that.

Watch the entire episode here: https://lnkd.in/dPsafyNChttps://vimeo.com/707727822

BrandMusiq Founder, Rajeev Raja talks about the company’s new platform ‘BrandMusiq LABS’ and the future of sonic branding

We’re in a content-eats-content world where social media has brands fighting to be seen and heard. Yet, most haven’t cracked the code on what builds brand loyalty and memorability.

Rajeev Raja, founder of BrandMusiq talks about the future of sonic branding, the new platform ‘BrandMusiq LABS’ and the importance of building strong brands today. 

So Rajeev, how would you describe BrandMusiq LABS?

BrandMusiq LABS is going to be a platform that essentially explores the fundamental nature of sound and music and its impact on human behaviour and emotions. As a sonic branding agency, we want to get an empirical understanding of how different scales, harmonies, rhythms and instruments impact human beings. And we apply this knowledge in our day-to-day building of sonic identities for brands.

“Consumers will respect brands that aren’t shouting to be heard. And sound is going to be essential in building brand love and intimacy”

How does BrandMusiq LABS explore the nature of sound in relation to branding?

BrandMusiq LABS serves as an innovation funnel for brands. At one level we’re talking of how sound affects human behaviour and emotions. We then apply that FOR THE BENEFIT OF BRANDS. We’re also saying that there are so many innovations happening in the world of sonic branding. The convergence of technology, sound, customer behaviour, ecommerce, notifications, alerts, apps and how consumers interact with it… all of this will be a subject of study in BrandMusiq LABS.

How does adding a sonic dimension enhance our current understanding of brands and consumers?

With different explorations of music and sonic experiences, we explore sound in a whole new dimension. BrandMusiq LABS will essentially have an academic mindset. It will not be linked to any revenue objectives. It will be a pure exploration of sound. 

Can music move beyond its role in branding? For eg, what impact does music have during war? Can music be used to de-stress people? What about the whole area of wellness music and therapy? We’re building knowledge about brands and consumers in an environment where the approach is scientific.

How does sound change our perception of things?

For instance, we’re exploring how the sound affects your tasting experience. What role does music play in a food tasting environment? Does it actually influence taste? So, if you’re in a fine dining restaurant, and you play rock ‘n roll, is it incongruent with your experience? We’ll be looking at various aspects, all of which have implications for brands, and beyond. We could be looking at social projects, using sound, to change social behaviour. So, that’s really what BrandMusiq LABS is all about.

So, does BrandMusiq LABS redefine our understanding of sound? And why is it relevant today?

I’ve been in the corporate world for many, many years where there’s a far greater degree of predictability and comfort. Now, having founded BrandMusiq and having steered it for the last 10 years, we felt the need to give back to the industry. Ergo, BrandMusiq LABS.

Things are moving so fast, that the present and future are very often interacting with each other. What you think is the future, is suddenly your present. The whole idea is to be proactive rather than reactive. We need to prepare for the future, even while managing the present. So, BrandMusiq LABS is really about giving us a window to the future.

“The way I see the future of sonic branding, that it’s going to evolve from branding to non-conscious brand experience. From mere recognition to unlocking brand emotion”

What do you want your audience to ultimately take out of the BrandMusiq LABS sessions? 

We want them to be more informed about the power of sound, the potential of sound, and how important it is as a strategic and long-term brand asset and not just a sound mnemonic. It’s a ground where science meets art.

There’s a scientific temper to our thinking (BrandMusiq LABS) which gets translated into an artistic expression (BrandMusiq). 

What do you see as the future of sonic branding?

The way I see the future of sonic branding, that it’s going to move from branding to non-conscious brand experience. From recognition to unlocking brand emotion. We’re saying the opportunity is to use sound strategically. Used well, your brand will not just be recognised, but will be felt. With a sonic identity, you’re bringing a sensorial dimension to brands that has never been harnessed, hitherto, in a strategic, measurable way. So, another aspect of BrandMusiq LABS is going to be the whole exploration of ROI (return on investment). So brands can track how impactful their sonic spend has been.

“Sonic branding can be a very important aspect in bringing in brand love and intimacy” 

What ways should brands use this knowledge to build themselves better?

Branding is going to move from overt and in-your-face to non-conscious branding. 

Let’s call it ‘UNbranding’

Because, the consumer today is basically saying, “I’m not sure I’m in love with brands anymore”. And sonic branding can be a very important aspect in bringing in brand love and intimacy.

Consumers are going to respect brands that are not in your face, that aren’t shouting to be heard.

Brands will move from selling to serving. That’s the BIG change. Therefore, everything points to much more subtlety, more sincerity in branding. And we believe that music can achieve that for brands. It is our firm point of view that if we create the sound of a brand responsibly, true to the brand’s essence and DNA, then you’ve got a very strong sensorial that you can imbue your brand with, wherever your brand is heard, across the digital media ecosystem, online, offline or on-ground. 

BrandMusiq LABS launches on 6th April, 2022 only on Linkedin.

Subscribe to our Linkedin page for more. 

3 Reasons Brands Must Use TikTok And Reels To Boost Their Sonic Identity

Welcome to the TikToksphere and Reelsverse.

The ‘sound’ platforms where everything is quick, viral and highly addictive. 

The beauty of these sensorial worlds are they have managed to capture and consume our attention with the ‘sound-on’.

Unlike other platforms where most of us consume content on mute,  

73% users will only notice brands with strong sonic identities. 

Not only that, but in the last 2 years, campaigns on TikTok and Reels have become essential in giving artists global status, or getting discovered BIG TIME. 

Take the careers of LIL NARS X, DOJA CAT and Olivia Rodrigo, for example.

Their songs ‘Industry’, ‘Kiss Me More’ and ‘Déjà vu’ respectively, became overnight global chart toppers!

But was it really their music? 

Or the fact that their music, AKA their sonic identity, really resonated with audiences?

It’s becoming more evident as we go on, that customers today seek to connect with brands on a deeper and more responsible level.  

But should this compel brands to leverage such ‘sound’ platforms?

Here are 3 compelling reasons.

Reason 1: Brings Your Brand To Life

Just like you have logos, a defined visual story and tonality it’s equally important to establish your MOGO ®, or musical logo.

If there’s anything we can learn from Gehraiyaan’s music release– the formula for a successful campaign is to be really creative with audio strategy. Before its release on Amazon PrimeVideo, they launched ‘Doobey’ as an Instrgram Reel filter, which permeated across people’s lives and social feeds. 

Travellers, chefs, fashionistas, writers, small and big businesses rushed to merge these tunes with their content. This not only made it the most shared track within the first week of its release but created a really strong sonic identity for the movie. 

Reason 2: Keeps Your Brand Relevant

How can you explain the 1958’s song ‘Put Your Hand On My Shoulder’ by Paul Anka getting so famous in the last 6 months? 

People experience content in TikTok and Reels very quickly. 

So it’s a great opportunity for brands to create digital sonic assets that experiment with sound to stay relevant and fresh.

Reason 3: Creates a Top Of Mind Recall. Everytime

In TikTok’s Insight Report, “68% users said that they’d recall a brand much better when they use music they like”. 

This is because music and sounds are known to trigger memories and emotions that customers will use to remember your brand. 

While finding clutter-breaking tunes for your brand will help, thinking about the long-term versatility of the sound in such platforms will help your brand stand out. 


1.    https://vamp-brands.com/blog/2021/08/20/infographic-how-brands-can-use-music-in-their-tiktok-campaigns/

2.    https://www.massivemusic.com/en/blog/detail/why-brands-should-invest-in-music-sound-on-tiktok

3.    https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/tiktok-shares-new-insights-into-the-importance-of-audio-in-brand-marketing/616633/

4.    https://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/gehraiyaan-music-review-instagram-reels-make-the-songs-float-on-surface-but-were-they-ever-meant-to-plunge-deeper-10356581.html

‘Kiss Me, Close Your Eyes And Miss Me’.

4 Brand Jingles That Wooed Us With Their Sounds Of Love

We all have a favourite jingle of love. And if you’ve grown up watching ads, we can agree that certain brands have cracked the ‘sonic code to love’. 

Whether it’s finding romance in moments with Cadbury Silk’s ‘Kiss Me’, or feeling nostalgic love with Vodafone’s ‘You And I’, some brands have pioneered the space of romantic jingles in advertising. Here are our top 4 picks. 

The Song Of Romantic Moments

Cadbury Silk – “Kiss Me, Close Your Eyes And Miss Me”

Delightful. Innocent. Memorably romantic. 

Cadbury Silk’s jingle has wooed fans since 2010, and captured love in different moments. It’s the tune that reflects modern Indian life and how love can be shared in the most unexpected moments. Ask any ad nut, and they’ll tell give you a hundred different reasons why they LOVE this tune

A Jingle Of Modern Romance 

Coke – ‘Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho” 

An interesting fact about this ad jingle, it’s actually a remixed version of an old Bollywood song. Created for one of Coke’s ‘Open Happiness’ campaigns, it’s a tune of modern age love with a twist.  

The Sound Of Flirtatious Love 

Close Up – “Paas Aao”

Close-Up has always been known for their ‘minty-fresh’ toothpaste. But more than that, their ‘Paas Aao’ campaign from the early 2000s, introduced us to the jingle of flirtatious love. Capturing various moments of playful romance, this was a tune that represented a new generation of love.  

The Tune Of Everlasting True Love

Vodafone – “You and I”

When Vodafone (then Hutch) launched their brand campaign, ‘You and I’ became an overnight phenomenon. The simplicity of the tune with the meaningful lyrics, stole our hearts and ears, and could be heard everywhere!

Would these brands consider elevating these love songs from mere jingles to a long term sonic identity?’

Let us know your thoughts.

Did you know that James Bond’s classic audio signature has Indian roots?

By Kerissa Lalkaka

The theme, composed by Monty Norman and arranged by John Barry, features in every James Bond movie produced by Eon Productions since their first movie, Dr No, in 1962. The iconic guitar riff, “dum di-di dum,” was borrowed from a previous composition of Norman’s, called “Good Sign Bad Sign.” Norman wrote the song as part of an abandoned stage musical based on V.S. Naipaul’s A House for Mr Biswas, which follows the life of a Hindu Indo-Trinidadian. You can clearly hear the Indian classical music influence in the original song, played on the sitar and tabla. When he was asked to compose the score for the first Bond film, he removed the Indian sound and presented it to the producers. Initially unhappy with what they heard, they brought in John Barry, who transformed the piece with his arrangement while retaining the riff. 

The tune, reminiscent of the Indian Classical Raag Bhairavi, evokes feelings of excitement and suspense. It is an intrinsic part of the identity of James Bond as a franchise and character and has inspired other film scores of the same genre. A truly successful case of sonic branding, hearing any part of the theme conjures thoughts of action and espionage. 

Listen to Monty Norman sing the history of the James Bond riff in his song “Dum di-di dum”

How Sonic Branding Strikes an Emotional Chord

By Kerissa Lalkaka

Think of your favourite song. Does it give you chills? Does it help you relax? Remind you of a particular time in your life? Make you smile, or make you cry? 

Music transcends the realm of entertainment. It can enhance our sense of well-being and elicit powerful physiological reactions like goosebumps or a change in heart rate. Thanks to your neurological responses, music can improve emotional regulation by influencing mood or providing a cathartic outlet when processing complex, distressing feelings. Music triggers the release of neurotransmitters associated with reward, like dopamine, and involves the same areas of the brain as other forms of pleasure. 

Though emotional reactions may vary from person to person, music evokes responses at a universal level as well. Listening to your favourite song probably triggers emotions and memories specific to you. However, if you, or anybody, were to hear a song for the first time in a Major key, you would interpret it as sounding happy. Play it again in a minor key, and it becomes melancholy. That’s just one way a song could be manipulated to convey a different feeling.

Here’s a great example of how transposing a happy tune into a minor key and switching up the rhythm completely transforms the piece –

Musicians make deliberate choices with the style, instrumentation, and scales used in their compositions to communicate a specific message or sentiment. They might base a happy song on the major pentatonic scale. In addition to sounding joyful, this would appeal to an international audience as the use of pentatonic scales is popular worldwide. When they want a dark and mysterious sound, the diminished scale could work as the base. A sad and sentimental song could be based on a natural minor scale. In turn, the behaviour known as emotional mimicry causes listeners to mirror the emotions that the music expresses. 

That’s why sound is the most powerful tool your brand can use to form an immediate emotional bond with your customers. A well-crafted sonic identity not only conveys the essence of your brand but also creates long-lasting positive emotional associations. Every time your customer hears the tune, they’ll remember what the brand stands for and more importantly, how it makes them feel.

Jingle vs. Sonic Identity

By Kerissa Lalkaka

Jingles have always been an indispensable part of advertising. They’re catchy and represent what a brand is all about while creating a positive association with the product. For example, Washing Powder Nirma. It tells you exactly what the product is with a fun, upbeat tune. If you hear “Sippin’ on Bacardi Rum,” you think of relaxing on the beach, drinking with friends.

Despite jingles being memorable, a simple 30-second song is not effective enough to stand out in today’s oversaturated digital market. To have a lasting impact, you need a cohesive sonic identity. 

Though it may seem like we spend our entire day glued to our phones or laptops, many are now trying to decrease screen time as much as possible due to screen fatigue and instead turn to audio-only services such as Spotify and Clubhouse for entertainment. Traditionally visual social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, have launched audio-only platforms as well. Sound is the only way to reach users of these apps, especially those that listen on smart speakers. 

On short-form video-sharing platforms such as Instagram Reels, Youtube Shorts, and TikTok, the audio needs to grab and hold your attention immediately while effectively conveying a message in a matter of seconds. The right sound can instantly trigger brand recognition.

That’s why a sonic identity is a major branding upgrade. Designed using the science of sound to capture the brand’s essence and personality, it serves as a musical counterpart to a brand’s visual identity. You may hear a jingle in a TVC or on the radio, but you’ll notice various aspects of the sonic identity at all possible earpoints (audible touchpoints). What you hear when you call a customer service line and you’re on hold; the sounds incorporated in-app and online; the music that plays in-store; these are just a few applications of a sonic identity. 

Specific uses vary from industry to industry, but the purpose remains the same. Instead of a jingle used only in commercials, a sonic identity employs a holistic approach that regularly reminds the consumer of the brand’s identity before, during, and after purchasing a product or service to forge an enduring emotional connection. The digital era is forcing brands to realize that a sonic identity is not just “nice to have,” it’s a “must-have.”


Is the death of the display ad a certainty?

By Kerissa Lalkaka 

When was the last time you clicked on a banner ad on purpose? According to Solve Media, an advertising consulting company, you’re more likely to survive a plane crash than click on a banner ad. 

In the early days of banner display advertising, it was possible to get a 50% CTR (click-through rate). Thanks to banner blindness, the phenomenon of people ignoring and looking past banner ads, a 50% CTR is unheard of nowadays. These ads can be annoying and disruptive and often get overlooked by internet users. According to Google Doubleclick, the average display ad CTR is now 0.1%. 

In addition to banner blindness, another advertising obstacle brands face is the growing popularity of ad-blocking software. A study by Hootsuite found that 42.6% of internet users worldwide use ad blockers.

Source: Hootsuite (Infographic from https://backlinko.com/ad-blockers-users)

As more consumers are actively avoiding ads, it’s time to question the traditional advertising methods. The average person is estimated to be bombarded with between 6,000 to 10,000 ads daily. 

The best way to stand out from the crowd is with a sonic identity. Many consumers ignore most types of advertising if they can help it, but music can reach your target audience even if they aren’t paying attention. Using thoughtfully crafted sound as part of a holistic approach efficiently conveys your brand’s message and values while forging an emotional connection with the customer and increasing brand awareness.

Display advertising isn’t going away, but it is no longer as effective as it once was. Incorporating a sonic branding strategy into your marketing plan is the best way to cut through the clutter and make an impression.