Music is such an incredible way to make connections and evoke emotions.

Why is it so under-leveraged in branding?

I can’t remember a lot of things I did last month, or even last week…but hum a few bars of my favorite childhood jingles and I can instantly recall all the words.

“My Baloney has a first name. It’s O-S-C-A-R.

“Honeycomb’s big, yeah, yeah, yeah.”

or even more recent ones…

“Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline.”

Aural or sonic branding isn’t just about jingles.

It can also be about associating songs with commercials (Apple’s “New Soul” for the Airbook is a great example of this).

Or a unique sound that is tied with use of that brand (e.g The T-Mobile sound when you turn your phone on or the Intel Inside notes that accompany that brand signature).

It can be a particular voice that’s connected with a brand (e.g. James Earl Jones intoning “This is CNN”).

Brands seems to spend so much time on the look of the product and the campaigns.

Who is thinking about the sound?

In my current job I’ve met a few agencies that focus on Sonic branding. But it still seems to be a relatively niche discipline, although one I believe is worthy of more attention.

Next time you are brainstorming ways to make your advertising and branding work harder, shut your eyes, open your ears and think about sound and how it could work to your advantage.

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?

How are brands effectively leveraging sound? Should they be doing more?

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Julie is the Founder and CEO of BrandTwist, a brand consultancy that helps entrepreneurs and corporations build stronger, more profitable brands.


  1. I always wondered why branding firms didn't push sonic branding. It is so powerful. Have you seen the new Intel commercial. they have the people in the commercial singing the Intel tune at the end. I thought it was clever.

  2. Even compare TV theme songs from 20 years ago to now. The Cheers theme is iconic, and there are dozens of examples where the show and its theme song are remmbered equally fondly.

    Today, Spongbob and South Park are among the few shows with memorable theme songs, though shows like Law & Order and 24 have implemented a sonic theme that resonates.

    Let's have more tunes!

  3. You're so right. The only newish theme song I can think of is the one from Friends. And that's not even recent! The other great thing about Spongebob theme song is that it's interactive (e.g. "I can't hear you…").

    It strikes me that there is so much interest in musical artists right now (e.g. American Idol), where is all the great music for branding?

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