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 ear points (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 realise that a sonic identity is not just “nice to have,” it’s a “must-have.”