Sound is a powerful yet often overlooked element of successful advertising It can have an immediate and lasting effect on the viewer and listener, creating an emotional response and grabbing their attention. Whether it’s a jingle, a sound effect, or music, sound can be used to great effect to make an ad more memorable and impactful.
Music is one of the most commonly used sounds in advertising. Music can evoke certain emotions, be it joy, nostalgia, peace, or excitement. It can also be used to quickly grab attention and set the tone for the ad. For example, Apple’s iconic “Get a Mac” campaign used a catchy jingle to great effect. The upbeat music established an upbeat tone and kept viewers engaged until the end.
Sound effects are another popular sound used in advertising. Sound effects can punctuate humorous moments, indicate danger, or create dramatic tension. A great example of this is the “Livin’ on the Edge” ad campaign by Geico. The ad begins with a cowboy falling off a horse and set to a western soundtrack. An ominous sound effect is then used to signify the cowboy’s impending doom, followed by a sound of a crash and a comical “uh oh” sound.
Voice-overs are another common type of sound used in advertising. The choice of voice can be just as important as the choice of music or sound effects. A voice-over can be used to narrate the ad and can be used to create a sense of authority or to add an additional layer of emotion or humor. A great example of this is Old Spice’s “Man your man could smell like” campaign. The deep, masculine voice of actor Isaiah Mustafa created an authoritative and confident tone, making the ad both entertaining and memorable.
Soundscapes are a creative way to combine music, sound effects, and dialogue to create a complete audio package for an ad. Companies such as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Volkswagen have used soundscapes to great effect, creating ads that evoke a range of emotions and leave a lasting impression on viewers. For example, Coca-Cola’s “Open Happiness” campaign created a bubbly and uplifting soundscape, while Volkswagen’s “Think Small” campaign used a quirky and whimsical soundscape to reinforce the ad’s message.
Finally, sound can be used to create a world of its own. Radio ads are a great example of this, as they allow advertisers to paint a vivid auditory picture that can be just as memorable and impactful as a visual one. Old Spice’s “When All You’re Wearing is Old Spice” campaign is a great example of this. The ad paints a vivid picture of a world populated by the masculine and iconic Old Spice man, creating an experience that transcends the radio and stays with the listener long after the ad ends.
Overall, sound is a powerful yet often overlooked tool in advertising. Whether it’s music, sound effects, voice-overs, soundscapes, or radio ads, sound can be used to great effect to capture the viewer’s attention, evoke certain emotions, or create a world of its own. Ads with great sound are more memorable and ultimately more successful.