Audio branding is becoming increasingly important as voice activation technology advances and smart speakers proliferate.
Audio logos to date have been a tactic typically reserved for big brands but it is now becoming something everyone needs to consider as a way to grab the attention of audiences listening to on-demand and streaming content.
In order to give you a head start in planning your own audio logo, I’ve compiled a list of 13 examples of sonic branding to give you inspiration.
If you’ve been to a movie theater during the past ten years, you’ve definitely heard this one from THX, the sound recording company owned by Lucasfilms. This audio logo effectively conveys aurally the purpose of the company.
I started using Windows with version 3.1 but quickly moved to Windows 95. When I think of Microsoft’s operating system, it is the Windows 95 start up sound that I hear. And it has a Pavlov’s Dog effect on me!
This video tracks the evolution of the Windows start up sound from 3.1 to Windows 10.
The Windows 95 version was created by music legend Brian Eno. Eno was know, among other things, for his ethereal ambient albums. Here’s the Windows 95 start up music stretched out to two minutes and thirty-two seconds (via Mental Floss).
It sounds a lot more like Eno!
Not to be outdone, Apple has it’s own start up audio logo. This one was suggested by Gregg Litman at StoryTeller Media.
Intel is another technology company that has done an excellent job at audio branding. I love this example because it demonstrates how the company enhances the brand experience by incorporating its audio logo into its packaging. Hat tip to Rohn Jay Miller for suggesting this one.
Apple, of course, has branded its popular iPhone with the familiar default ringtone.
T-Mobile has its own default ring tone that it employs at the close of its television commercials. (Thanks again to Gregg Litman for this one.)
The throwback version comes courtesy of Nokia, which has been using some version of its default ringtone since 1994. (Thanks to former colleague Josie Warren for recommending this one!)
Gregg Litman suggested this classic: AOL’s email notification audio: “You’ve got mail!”
My friend Monica Melsha goes waaaaaayyyyy back by suggesting the NBC Chimes! Love it.
10) Farmers Insurance
Farmers Insurance combines the voicing of “We Are Farmers!” followed by the semi-musical bum-ba-da-da-da-da-dum. This one was recommended by Rohn Jay Miller.
Sticking with the insurance companies, Gregg Litman suggested the Aflac duck. Here’s the cattle call to audition for the duck.
There are plenty of audio logos in the world of entertainment. Amy Bryant suggested one with which most people will be familiar.
13) Law & Order
David Wynia suggested another with Law & Order’s cha-chunk transition sound. It’s meant to sound like a gavel coming down.