Warc Blog

BMW taps sonic branding

22 March 2013
MUNICH: BMW, the German car manufacturer, is shaking up its branding efforts with the development of a new melody that will be incorporated into its television and radio campaigns.

BMW is replacing its existing "double gong" with a new sound logo, which features two distinctive bass tones, that better expresses the marque's power, dynamism and driving pleasure.

"Acoustic elements are an important aspect of the BMW brand appearance," said Joachim Blickhäuser, BMW's head of corporate and brand identity.

The new sound, said Blickhäuser, "gives the brand a distinctive, modern aesthetic and dynamic recognition factor and can be used in many different ways worldwide".

The first advertisements including the new sonic element will go live in the UK and France this month.

"A signature sound or a sound logo can help increase the association scores of BMW commercials," Al Ries, chairman of the Ries & Ries marketing strategy consultancy, told Luxury Daily.

But he also noted that the process would not happen overnight. "Some will relate the unique sound to the BMW brand, but it is going to take time to educate consumers about the connection between the sound and the brand," he said.

In an Admap article on sonic branding, Peter Matthews, from the Nucleus consultancy, wrote that sonic branding could transcend cultural and linguistic barriers and overcome reduced levels of attention.

But achieving this is not simple. "The strategy must be clearly thought through and an original sound developed that not only conveys the message the company wants, but also will not be confused with any other brand," he argued.

Examples of brands that have successfully built a sonic logo include Intel, the chip maker, Microsoft, the software giant, and Direct Line, the UK insurer.

Data sourced from Luxury Daily; additional content by Warc staff

 
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